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New water awareness project launched in Manitou, Manitoba in celebration of World Water Day

Thursday, March 18th 2010 10:57:50am

For Immediate Release

Friends of the Earth Canada, Pembina Valley Conservation District, Manitoba Department of Water Stewardship and Royal Bank of Canada celebrates world water day with launch of Be True to Be Blue

(Manitou, Manitoba/Ottawa, Ontario, March 18, 2010) In celebration of World Water Day, Friends of the Earth Canada is launching its new water awareness project, “Be True To Blue” in Manitou, Manitoba in cooperation with the Pembina Valley Conservation District and the Manitoba Department of Water Stewardship. The launch takes place at Manitou Opera House on March 18, 2010 at 7:30 pm.

“Be True To Blue” is supported by Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) Blue Water Project and will be delivered over two weeks in 14 schools and through the RBC branch offices in Manitou, Morden, Winkler, Crystal City and Somerset.  “Be True to Blue” was created to engage the public in Friends of the Earth Canada’s “Water Soft Paths”, which develops innovative options for water management for the Pembina Valley Conservation District and its members.

“We can no longer assume that there will always be more water to tap or no limit to the amount of waste water we can dump into rivers and streams and the ocean,” said Dr David Brooks, Senior Advisor on Fresh Water, Friends of the Earth Canada. “Canadians must change the way we use and abuse water. Fortunately, citizens in the Pembina Valley Conservation District already demonstrate great care in their water use.  It is, therefore, exciting to work with them to assess opportunities and challenges for their future water use.”

“Water is our most precious natural resource, and we know that industry, government, business and individuals can all play a part in watershed protection,” said Terry Burgess, RBC Regional Vice President Manitoba West.  “We are thrilled to be helping Friends of the Earth Canada contribute to a culture of water stewardship here in the Pembina Valley community.”

“Pembina Valley Conservation District is already working hard at the grassroots to protect and enhance water sources and quality as you can see from our new draft watershed plan,” said Murray Seymour, Chairman, Pembina Valley Conservation District.  “The partnership with Friends of the Earth Canada provides an opportunity to consider new tools for the next stage in our efforts to improve the health of our watershed and the prosperity of our citizens.”

“Friends of the Earth Canada is proud to receive the support of the Royal Bank Blue Water Fund,” says Beatrice Olivastri, CEO, Friends of the Earth Canada. “This is an ideal situation for RBC’s leadership funds to support an unique national, provincial and grassroots collaboration assessing new approaches for managing fresh water.  We’re proud to work with grassroots innovators in the Pembina Valley Conservation District and Manitoba Water Stewardship, the first such provincial department in Canada.”

“Manitoba Water Stewardship is very pleased to work in partnership with Friends of the Earth Canada and the Pembina Valley Conservation District to build Manitoba’s expertise in water conservation approaches such as Water Soft Paths,” said Rhonda McDougal, Director of Planning and Coordination for Manitoba Water Stewardship.

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For more information or interview opportunities, please contact:

Cliff Greenfield, Manager, Pembina Valley Conservation District (204) 242-3267
Liz Redston, RBC Manager Public Affairs & Communications (204) 988-3516
Beatrice Olivastri, CEO, Friends of the Earth Canada (613) 724 8690 (cell)

Friends of the Earth Canada is a charitable, non-profit organization that serves as a national voice for the environment working with others to inspire the renewal of our communities and the earth through research, advocacy and education. For more information, please visit http://www.foecanada.org

Pembina Valley Conservation District Manitoba supports local landowners with technical and financial assistance to participate in locally identified soil and water conservation programmes. For more information, please visit http://www.pvcd.ca

The RBC Blue Water Project is a 10-year, $50million philanthropic commitment to support organizations that are committed to watershed protection and providing access to clean drinking water.  Applications for th e “Community Action Grant” component of the Project are now welcome.  Grants range from $1,000 to $5,000. RBC Blue Water Project has granted Friends of the Earth Canada $100,000 to conduct its work with the Pembina Valley Conservation District in Manitoba. For more information, please visit http://www.rbc.com/donations/blue-water.html