American Water Association awards eight grants as part of their 2021 Environmental Grant Program

OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – Last Wednesday, as part of its Earth Week programming, the American Water Association awarded eight recipients around the region individual grants to help fund waterway improvement and protection projects through the company’s 2021 Environmental Grant Program.

Each of the participants received $2,500 for a specific project that will go towards improving local watersheds, surface, and groundwater areas.

“Animal feces is one of the issues that we try to mitigate the damages in the drainage into the Kanawha River,” says Mayor of Montgomery, Greg Ingram. “Animal feces does not break down, so that gets into our ground drainage and gets into our drinking water. So we made an effort a couple of years ago to mitigate that by buying a few dog waste stations.”

The City of Mongomery plans to place ten of these dog waste stations around city parks and schools to help prevent groundwater contamination. While another one of these recipients the American Water Association is helping to fund is the New River Conservancy and their water monitoring efforts.

“This is part of a bigger project that we have at the Clean Water Alliance to monitor streams throughout the New River Gorge area, especially for bacteria counts,” says Dave Bassage, the New River Gorge Program Coordinator for New River Conservancy. “We are trying to get these creeks cleaned up, and this particular grant is going to go toward water quality monitoring equipment.”

From improving the quality of our drinking water to making creeks, streams, and rivers much cleaner for us to use, these grants are funding projects that will positively impact all of us in many different ways.

“I think that it’s going to be great not only for water quality but just the cleanliness of the town,” says Ingram.

“We’ve seen some pretty significant improvements in these streams, but we’re not where we need to be yet,” says Bassage. “So, what it basically does is allow people to let their kids play in streams and it also gives people more confidence as they’re going down the New River that they are going to be on clean water.”

The Black Diamond Girl Scouts, the Town of Whitesville, Summers County Solid Waste Authority, among others were also awarded this year’s Environmental Grant.

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