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Nissan renews $50,000 grant to the Harpeth River Watershed Association conservation leadership efforts

Nissan today announced a $50,000 program grant to the Harpeth River Watershed Association (HRWA) that supports the organization’s efforts on new pollution reduction plan and water quality studies for the entire Harpeth River system. Nissan North America has been a partner of HRWA since the company moved to Tennessee, with nine annual grants totaling $450,000 … Continued

Nissan today announced a $50,000 program grant to the Harpeth River Watershed Association (HRWA) that supports the organization’s efforts on new pollution reduction plan and water quality studies for the entire Harpeth River system. Nissan North America has been a partner of HRWA since the company moved to Tennessee, with nine annual grants totaling $450,000 since 2008.

In partnership with HRWA and other stakeholders, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation will be leading this all-inclusive effort, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will also contribute its time and expertise.

“Nissan remains committed to improving the quality of life in the communities where we live and work,” said Rebecca Vest, Nissan vice president, Corporate Development and Social Responsibility. “The Harpeth is a valuable, natural asset for many counties in Middle Tennessee. We are glad to partner with HRWA to educate and mobilize people to work together and put solutions in place that protect the Harpeth River now and for generations to come.”

With its inclusion on the American Rivers listing of America’s Most Endangered Rivers, the State Scenic Harpeth River received national attention as a river whose future is at a crossroads. Nissan’s funding will support HRWA’s program efforts to expand the “citizen science” component of a river-system wide water quality monitoring program as a critical step toward restoring the river’s water quality to meet state standards for public health and wildlife. Nissan funds will also support HRWA’s River Restoration & Wildlife Protection Program and Outreach and Education Program, making numerous stream clean-ups and restoration projects possible with farmers and volunteers and reaching over 500 children in youth camps and schools around the river system.

“Nissan’s support for nearly 10 years as a lead corporate partner has enabled HRWA to have important success working collaboratively to develop and then champion solutions for the Harpeth River that are having national impact in how to improve water quality and protect wildlife and public health as a core component of regional economic development,” said Dorene Bolze, HRWA Executive Director. “As part of our vision for the next 15 years, our two new senior program staff will enable us to expand our capacity to help foster and expand partnerships around Tennessee and the Southeast that will help restore rivers and improve water quality for all Tennesseans.”

Kevin Cronk, HRWA’s new Director for Watershed Science and Restoration who started in late September, comes from northern Michigan, where he led water quality monitoring and research programs for Tip of Mitt Watershed Council since 2003. Kevin has a Master of Science Degree in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Michigan. Jim Redwine, HRWA’s Director for Water Quality Program and Sustainability, joined HRWA in March. Jim has over 30 years of experience as a corporate, executive, and environmental and bankruptcy attorney. Jim’s work includes the General Motors bankruptcy, where he was responsible for all environmental functions in the largest industrial bankruptcy in US history. Jim’s earned his law degree at Vanderbilt University and B.A. from Harvard University.

In addition to funding HRWA’s expanding capacity for its science based programs, Nissan will be the Presenting Sponsor for the 12th annual River Swing on Oct. 22, a casual and festive event held under the stars on the banks of the Harpeth River to celebrate 15 years of local success with national impact. For a second year, Williamson County Commissioner Todd Kaestner and his wife, Susan, will host the event that attracts over 400 people, out to their Fairpath Farm on 3210 Del Rio Pike starting at 5pm to catch the beautiful sunset. Proceeds from the 2016 River Swing dinner, dance, silent auction, and unique art show presented by the Chestnut Group, Plein Air painters for the land, will augment Nissan’s grant support. For more information, please visit RiverSwing.org.

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