To celebrate Earth Day, RBC announced its first Blue Water Project Leadership Grants pool.Grants are available to support projects in Canada, the United States and the other 36 countries in which RBC operates, and will range from $25,000 to $500,000 each, up to a total of $1.5 million. The 2008 RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Grant applications are due on June 30, 2008, and recipients will be announced in September 2008.

“Earth Day is the perfect time to kick off the Leadership Grants stream of our Blue Water Project,” said Gordon M. Nixon, president and CEO, RBC. “We are looking forward to hearing from organizations that are working to protect our precious water sources and contribute to a culture of water stewardship worldwide.”

RBC recently convened an advisory panel of North American water experts to help develop the overall Blue Water Project granting strategy and guidelines. The panel determined that RBC Blue Water Project grants should focus on two key areas: watershed protection and programs related to safe drinking water.

“You simply can’t overstate the connection between watershed protection and safe drinking water, and our goal is to make a significant, measurable environmental and social impact by focusing on these two areas,” said Rob de Loe, professor, Canada Research Chair in Water Management, University of Guelph, and chair of the RBC Blue Water Project Advisory Panel. “We hope that the programs funded through the RBC Blue Water Project grants will help more people understand how important fresh water resources are in their communities, and that more individuals will have access to clean, safe drinking water, especially in rural and indigenous communities.”

The RBC Blue Water Project is a wide-ranging, multi-year program to help foster a culture of water stewardship in Canada and abroad. The first phase of the RBC Blue Water Project, announced late last year, is a 10-year, $50 million grant program, comprising three streams: Visionary, Leadership and Community Action Grants. The first Visionary Grant was a $10 million commitment to the ONE DROP Foundation, established by Cirque du Soleil founder, Guy Laliberté. The Community Action Grants stream will be open for applications in June 2008.

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