PROTECTING, IMPROVING AND RESTORING REGIONAL WATERWAYS
Regional waterways are the lifeblood of vibrant communities. Duke Energy is committed to being a good neighbor. This also means being a good steward of the environment and the waterways surrounding our operations.
In 2015, 28 nonprofit organizations across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia received more than $2 million to help protect rivers, lakes and streams in those states. The projects were funded through the Water Resources Fund, a $10 million investment by the company to protect waterways in the Carolinas and downstream from Duke Energy’s Carolinas operations.
One of the projects is the Dutch Creek Stream Restoration and Education Initiative in Watauga County, North Carolina.
The Valle Crucis Community Park used its $77,000 grant to restore more than 800 feet of a degraded reach of Dutch Creek using natural channel design methods. Structures also were installed to re-establish and enhance fish and hellbender salamander habitats. Already, the county game warden has reported seeing trout feeding in the creek for the first time in years.
During construction, fifth-grade classes from adjacent Valle Crucis Elementary School received on-site lessons about wetland restoration and helped install plants along the stream bank.
In the Midwest, a $250,000 Duke Energy Foundation grant is enabling Thomas More College to boost fish and water quality research programs at its Thomas More Biology Field Station in Campbell County, Kentucky. The funds are also being used to expand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) partnerships with teachers and students throughout the Greater Cincinnati region.
A separate $250,000 grant to the University of Cincinnati is helping the Great Miami Ground-Water Observatory to establish an early detection system for threats to water in the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer System. The university also is using grant money to expand its summer environmental research training program for teachers.
These projects are inspiring and creating a difference in our communities. They’re investments in the ongoing and future sustainability of our regions.