MillerCoors Activates Consumers and Communities on Water Stewardship with Fourth Annual Grant Competition

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Brewer teams with River Network to donate nearly $60,000 through online voting competition in six communities.

River Restoration Project-MillerCoors volunteer

Through this partnership, MillerCoors is supporting the protection and restoration of waterways across the country that will produce long-term benefits for people, fish and wildlife, and future generations,” said Todd Ambs, president of River Network.

MillerCoors in partnership with River Network, today kicked off an online grant competition to award nearly $60,000 in grants to non-profit organizations in six communities to fund projects focused on water conservation, education and protection. Now in its fourth year, MillerCoors and River Network, a national non-profit organization focused watershed protection with more than 600 local member organizations, have awarded nearly $250,000 to date.

“MillerCoors depends on water to brew beer, and by partnering with organizations like River Network we believe we can help improve local watersheds,” said Kim Marotta, director of corporate social responsibility for MillerCoors. “In the past four years, the MillerCoors – River Network grant competition garnered more than 50,000 votes from individuals across the world, and we are excited to further engage communities on water issues that affect everyone, everywhere.”

The winning organization will be chosen by the public through an online voting contest. The finalist organization with the most votes will receive a $25,000 grant. The five remaining projects will also receive funds, with second place receiving a $15,000 grant, third place receiving a $10,000 grant, and the three remaining projects each receiving $2,000.

River Network and the six finalist organizations share MillerCoors commitment to water stewardship. MillerCoors has set a goal to reduce water usage to 3.5 barrels of water to one barrel of beer by 2015. The company also recently completed a comprehensive watershed mapping exercise to better understand water risks in its eight major brewery communities, three of which are located in water-stressed or water-scarce areas.

“Healthy rivers are vital to the health and future of our communities,” said Todd Ambs, president of River Network. “Through this partnership, MillerCoors is supporting the protection and restoration of waterways across the country that will produce long-term benefits for people, fish and wildlife, and future generations.”

MillerCoors and River Network encourage people to vote for their favorite project through March 19, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. (PST) at http://www.rivernetwork.org/millercoors-river-network-grant-contest-2012. The winners will be announced on March 23, 2012. Further information on MillerCoors sustainable development and water stewardship programs can be found on GreatBeerGreatResponsibility.com.

Details for each of the six finalist organizations’ proposals follow:

Friends of Marsh Creek (FMC), CA: FMC will host more than a dozen service projects and education events to increase understanding and raise awareness about local water quality issues, while advancing stewardship activities within the Marsh Creek Watershed. These projects will also support California’s efforts to protect the San Joaquin Delta ecosystem.

Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC), MI: CRWC’s WAIT WAIT… Don’t Step There, Fish Here! will address intensive traffic at Yates Park that has contributed to streambank erosion and subsequent destruction of fish habitat and water quality impacts. Streambank restoration, public access development and an ongoing public awareness campaign will help protect one of the most popular fishing locations on the Clinton River.

Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR), MN: FMR’s Urban Riverside Planting Project will improve natural area habitat and water quality at numerous sites throughout the Twin Cities. It will also increase environmental awareness, knowledge and interest in river and watershed stewardship among a diverse group of river neighborhood residents, especially the local Somali and Hmong communities.

Ohio River Foundation (ORF), OH: The Ohio River basin suffers from major sediment erosion. ORF will conduct a native re-vegetation restoration program along the Great Miami River in order to stabilize riverbanks, reduce soil erosion and flooding, improve fish and wildlife habitat, and protect local water quality.

Lake Champlain International (LCI), VT: LCI and community volunteers will educate residents of Burlington, VT, on watershed friendly practices and provide the opportunity to certify their properties as BLUE® - Watershed Friendly. In addition, mini-grants will be available to install water pollution prevention features at homes, thereby helping greatly reduce urban water pollution runoff that flows into Lake Champlain.

Friend of the Rappahannock (FOR), VA - FOR’s Rainscape Retrofits program will work with homeowners to construct residential rain gardens to reduce the impact of polluted stormwater runoff on local waterways. In addition, FOR will establish several demonstration projects and launch a low-impact development public education campaign.

About MillerCoors
MillerCoors brews, markets and sells the MillerCoors portfolio of brands in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Built on a foundation of great beer brands and nearly 300 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 Rocky Mountain cold refreshment. MillerCoors brews premium beers Coors Banquet and Miller Genuine Draft, and economy brands Miller High Life and Keystone Light. The company also offers innovative products such as MGD 64, Miller Chill and Sparks. Through MillerCoors new craft and import company, Tenth and Blake, imports Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell, Grolsch and Molson Canadian and features craft brews from the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing 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, Wisconsin, and two microbreweries, the 10th Street Brewery in Milwaukee and the Blue Moon Brewing Company at Coors Field in Denver. MillerCoors vision is to create 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 more than twenty years, River Network has empowered and united people and communities to protect and restore rivers and other waters that sustain the health of our country. We envision a future when every person knows their watershed and is an active caretaker of their local river, lake, stream or bay. We work for the day when all people, fish and wildlife have access to clean plentiful water. Our headquarter staff in Portland, OR and field staff in Vermont, Maryland, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Utah and Idaho work closely with thousands of watershed protection groups from coast to coast – building the capacity of state and local groups, assisting people grappling with water and environmental health problems, protecting habitat for fish and wildlife, developing blue cities and reducing our country’s use of water and energy.

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MATT BURKE
River Network
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