DuPont Pledges $250,000 to Nature Conservancy for Water Quality Initiative
Pledge Supports Sustainable Improvements in Water Quality and Nutrient Management
DuPont today announced a pledge of $250,000 to The Nature Conservancy in an effort to improve water quality in vital Midwestern watersheds and to further reduce excess nutrient runoff from agricultural fields.
DuPont is a charter member in an effort by the Conservancy to establish watershed monitoring and best management practices in the Boone River watershed in Iowa and the Mackinaw River watershed in Illinois. Information gathered from these projects will be used in watershed projects in other agricultural areas.
“DuPont is proud to partner with The Nature Conservancy to help improve water quality in a key agricultural region,” said Linda Fisher, DuPont vice president and chief sustainability officer. “This effort is fully aligned with the DuPont global commitment to water conservation - an important component of our overall strategy to deliver sustainable solutions to key markets and geographies worldwide.”
The Conservancy and its partners in the Boone and Mackinaw river watershed areas hope to improve water quality throughout the upper Mississippi River watershed and reduce excess nutrient delivery through the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.
“This grant will allow us to move our monitoring projects on the Boone and Mackinaw rivers one giant step forward,” said Dave DeGeus, agricultural watershed director for the Conservancy’s Upper Mississippi River program. “In turn, we’ll know in a timely manner the best ways to improve water quality within highly productive agricultural areas.”
The $250,000 grant from DuPont will match funds pledged by The Kresge Foundation to the Campaign for Conservation: Saving the Last Great Places in Iowa. It is contingent on the Conservancy reaching its $9.5 million campaign goal by Feb. 1, 2008.
“Agriculture is making tremendous strides in protecting the environment,” said Dean Oestreich, DuPont vice president and general manager and president of Pioneer Hi-Bred. “Today farmers are using conservation tillage, buffer strips, terraces and other means to hold the soil and nutrients in place. But we know there is more agriculture can do. This pledge looks at ways we can continue to improve nutrient management and water quality in a sustainable manner without impacting farmer productivity and profitability.”
In addition to financial support, DuPont and its Pioneer business will be actively involved in the project by providing agriculture expertise and engaging farmers to work in the project.
The Boone River watershed encompasses about 581,110 acres in six central counties in Iowa, which flows into the Des Moines River then into the Mississippi River. Funding from DuPont will begin implementation of a three-phase monitoring plan within the Boone River watershed to help develop the measurable ecological restoration goals at the watershed scale.
The Mackinaw River drains the fourth largest watershed of the Illinois River system with almost 740,000 acres. This watershed contains some of the most productive agricultural land in the United States. Nearly 80 percent of the watershed currently is in highly productive agriculture of corn and soybeans.
As a part of its 2015 Sustainability Goals, DuPont has committed to reducing water consumption by at least 30 percent over the next 10 years at its global sites where the renewable freshwater supply is either scarce or stressed as determined by the United Nations analysis of river basins globally. For all other sites, DuPont will hold water consumption flat on an absolute basis through the year 2015, offsetting any increased demand from production volume growth through conservation, reuse and recycle practices.
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