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Millercoors And River Network Partner To Provide $52,000 To Non-Profits For Watershed Protection Programs

10 February 2009

Public Online Voting Competition Launched for Winner Selection at http://rivernetwork.com

MILWAUKEE and GOLDEN, Colo. (Feb. 10, 2009) - MillerCoors and River Network, a non-profit organization focused on water quality, today announced they have chosen eight finalist organizations to receive a total of $44,000 for watershed protection programs, with additional funds of $8,000 to support the competition.  The finalists were chosen in six states where MillerCoors has breweries: California, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  Winners will be chosen through an online voting competition, launched today at www.rivernetwork.com.
River Network has a robust water protection network of 700 local, state, and regional partners who are committed to water protection and restoration.  MillerCoors partnered with River Network to leverage its expansive breadth of grassroots member groups.  The grant competition will create or expand programs that impact and protect watersheds in states where MillerCoors has breweries.  The eight finalists' proposed watershed protection projects range from training and education programs to building rain gardens to reduce stormwater runoff. 
"River Network believes that strong community-based groups are our best opportunity to protect and restore our rivers, lakes and watersheds," Ezra Milchman, president of River Network, said.  "We are proud to partner with MillerCoors on this grant competition to directly support community-based projects on these amazing rivers, and we strongly believe its financial investment will pay great long-term dividends to preserve our precious waters for all people, wildlife and future generations."
According to Kim Marotta, vice president of corporate social responsibility at MillerCoors, water conservation and water quality are priorities for MillerCoors.  "Not only is the quality of water important for our communities, it is essential for brewing great beer.  Water is the primary ingredient in beer and it flows through every step in our brewing process." she said.  Marotta noted that the finalists chosen for the online voting campaign showed passion and dedication to water sustainability.  "We are excited to join forces with River Network to help local watershed protection
organizations make a direct and positive impact on the water resources in each of their communities."
Details for each of the eight finalist proposals follow:
Institute for Environmental Studies; Denver, CO:
The Education and Outreach Campaign of the Emerging Contaminants (EC) Project will educate residents of Golden about their personal "chemical footprint" and empower them with strategies for improving the quality of their community's water.

The Coal Creek Watershed Coalition; Crested Butte, CO:
The project will expand efforts to comprehensively address pollution in the Coal Creek watershed by removing abandoned industrial batteries from the watershed's headwaters, studying and implementing best management practices for magnesium chloride (MgCl) application as a dust retardant and expanding the organization's educational outreach program, called Water Wise.

Ogeechee-Canoochee Riverkeeper; Statesborough, GA:
A volunteer fish collection program that monitors mercury levels in fish.  The project will also educate people about mercury contamination and its sources and prevent further mercury pollution in the waters.
Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed; Columbus, OH:
Project partners will create an urban stormwater management demonstration site, including water collection and rain gardens to decrease stormwater runoff.  The demonstration will kick off an outreach campaign to churches, schools, small businesses and public officials, with the goal of activating ten similar projects by 2012.

Milwaukee Riverkeeper; Milwaukee, WI:
Milwaukee Riverkeeper will train local volunteers to test water quality in the Milwaukee River Basin as part of a larger initiative focused on achieving maximum improvement in water quality through the efforts of local environmental programs and projects.

Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network; Racine, WI:
Stormwater runoff is the primary cause of polluted waterways.  A rain garden is one of many practices that can reduce stormwater runoff.  This program would fund the creation of eight demonstration rain gardens in southeastern Wisconsin.

Sierra Nevada Alliance; South Lake Tahoe, CA:
The South Lake Tahoe Monitoring Project is a water quality monitoring effort to evaluate creeks and rivers at specific monitoring sites in order assess the health of the Upper Truckee Watershed, which flows to Lake Tahoe.

Little Tennessee Watershed Association; Franklin, NC:
Local volunteers will carry out physical habitat assessments of stream reaches to add to existing data.  The information will be used to influence and educate the public - as well as effect long-term watershed protection policy change.

MillerCoors and River Network encourage public participation and support of the grant competition by voting for one of the eight finalists at http://rivernetwork.com before polls close on March 6, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. (PST).

About MillerCoors:
Built on a foundation of great beer brands and more than 288 years of brewing heritage, MillerCoors continues the commitment of its founders to brew the highest quality beers.  MillerCoors is the second largest beer company in America, capturing nearly 30 percent of U.S. beer sales.  Led by two of the best-selling beers in the industry, MillerCoors has a broad portfolio of highly complementary brands across every major industry segment.  Miller Lite is the great tasting beer that established the American light beer category in 1975, and Coors Light is the brand that introduced consumers to refreshment as cold as the Rockies. MillerCoors brews full-calorie beers Coors Banquet and Miller Genuine Draft; and economy brands Miller High Life and Keystone Light.  The company also imports Peroni, Grolsch, Pilsner Urquell and Molson Canadian and offers innovative products such as Miller Chill and Sparks.  MillerCoors features craft brews from the Jacob Leinenkugel Company, Blue Moon Brewing Company and the Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Company.  MillerCoors operates eight major breweries in the U.S., as well as the Leinenkugel's craft brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wis., and two microbreweries, the Leinenkugel's 10th Street Brewery in Milwaukee and the Blue Moon Brewing Company at Coors Field in Denver.  MillerCoors vision is to become the best beer company in America by driving profitable industry growth.  MillerCoors insists on building its brands the right way through brewing quality, responsible marketing and environmental and community impact.  MillerCoors is a joint venture of SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company.
About River Network:
For 20 years, River Network has provided leadership, support and coordination for people working for watershed protection at the local, state and regional levels.  In addition, River Network serves as a catalyst and coordinator for major projects, such as this one, that require national leadership and collaboration among widely separated organizations. With more than 700 partner groups in all 50 states and beyond, River Network is helping build a powerful new water protection movement in the United States. To learn more about River Network, visit http://rivernetwork.org.

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