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Environmental Grant Program

At American Water, we are committed to protecting the environment in the communities we serve and are proud to support the efforts of local organizations who share our vision.

Established in 2005, our annual Environmental Grant Program offers funds for innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies in our local communities. We are pleased to offer this modest assistance to our community partners, while leveraging local resources and capabilities to make a positive impact on the environment.

To qualify for Environmental Grant funding, a proposed project must be:

  • Located within an American Water service area
  • Completed between May and November of the grant funding year
  • Be a new or innovative community initiative, or serve as significant expansion to an existing program.

For more information, please see our 2016 Program Brochure and Grant Application Form.  

For more information about the program in your state, please see below:



2015 California American Water Environmental Grant Program

California American Water is issuing two grants totaling $10,000 to the following organizations:

  • Located in its Sacramento service area, the non-profit Yolo Basin Foundation was awarded $5,000 to fund its Discover the Flyway Outdoor Environmental Science Education Program.  The program promotes conservation of the wetlands for the next generation, provides hands-on education to students on the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area in the Sacramento River Basin. Since its start in 1997, more than 53,000 students from K-12 have participated in the program’s science-based field trips that helps educate students on the wetlands and the wildlife habitat.
  • WildCoast was awarded $5,000 for their South San Diego Watershed Enhancement Project.  As part of the project, WildCoast will work with community volunteers to clean up the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge and the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge. The project aims to clean up more than 4,913 acres of sensitive coastal ecosystems in San Diego County.  Along with the preservation of the refuges, WildCoast will foster community engagement through community clean-ups as the areas provide important educational and recreation opportunities for the community.  In addition, WildCoast will also look to promote bilingual outreach for wetland and watershed conservation.


Entries in CA should be sent to:
Brian Barreto
8657 Grand Avenue
Rosemead, CA 91770



2015 Illinois American Water Environmental Grant Program

Illinois American Water issued six grants totaling $23,515 to the following organizations:

  • The Stream Discovery Released in the East program received a $5,000 grant.  The program, which is administered by the National Great River Research and Education Center in Alton fills a void in today’s education by providing teachers with tools to engage and educate students about aquatic resources.  Students participate in hands-on stream monitoring and research.  The program will be expanded to include classrooms in the Champaign and Lincoln areas.
  • The Hickory Creek Watershed Bio-Blitz project received a $2,915 grant to conduct a one-day aquatic assessment where community volunteers within Hickory Creek watershed will team up with biologists to help collect and sort macro invertebrate.  The species will later be identified by professional aquatic biologists.  More than 100 attendees are expected, including K-12 students via pre and post-blitz lesson plans.
  • The Peoria Art Guild’s Rainwater Revival project will receive their requested grant of $2,500 in full.  The Rainwater Revival project addresses Peoria’s sewer system overflow concerns.  The Peoria Art Guild will collaborate with area schools to create unique artistic rain basin collection systems to reduce water fun off in downtown Peoria, raise awareness and implement an innovative use of water in Peoria.
  • The Peoria Riverfront Museum received a $4,100 grant for an Education Garden project. The project aims to educate children on the importance of native plants to surface water protection and river bank erosion.  The 1,500 square foot garden will be used during summer camp, summer classes and programming during the weekly Riverfront Market on Saturday mornings.
  • The City of South Beloit received a $4,000 grant for the community’s Meet Me at the Confluence 2 project.  This the second phase of a project that began last year to remove invasive species along Turtle Creek.  The restoration project demonstrates the City’s commitment to realizing the vision of the Confluence as a focus for natural education and restoration of native ecosystems.
  • The Conservation Technology Information Center will receive a $5,000 grant for the Indian Creek Watershed project which focuses on a farming in watersheds.  A series of success story vignettes will be produced to educate on successful conservation systems including benefits, data and insight from leading farmers on adopting priority best practices in real-world situations.

See 2013 Winners in the press release.

See 2012 Winners in the press release.



2015 Indiana American Water Environmental Grant Program

Indiana American Water is issuing four grants totaling $9,000 to the following organizations:

  • City of Terre Haute will use its $2,500 grant for the Terre Haute Tree Planting. The City of Terre Haute is partnering with several other local groups to create an educational program that teaches how trees work to reduce storm water runoff and improve water quality and to spearhead several tree planting projects. Extreme weather and the age of many of the community’s trees, along with the invasion of the Emerald Borer have taken a toll on the area’s urban forest over the last several years. Indiana American Water through this grant is helping to fund a volunteer tree planting project within the City and the development of educational materials to be used in educating the public on the value of trees in our communities.
  • The Porter County Parks Foundation is being awarded $4,000 for the Westchester Migratory Bird Sanctuary Wetlands Restoration. This project will focus on upgrading an existing wetlands in Chesterton, Ind. to improve water quality and to form a habitat for migratory and shoreline birds and aquatic life. The project will also involve local schools to participate in development and implementation of the project.
  • Crawfordsville Middle School will use its $2,500 grant for the Sugar Creek Protection Spill Kit Project. Crawfordsville Middle School students and staff will be creating and distributing emergency spill kits, sediment filters, maps, and EPA guidelines to local gas stations to help them be better prepared to protect Sugar Creek, a valuable water resource that bisects the City of Crawfordsville. The availability of spill kits will allow service station employees and first responders to take remedial action sooner when spills occur and while waiting for HAZMAT teams to arrive. As a part of the project, service station employees will also be trained on preventing spills and enacting emergency procedures when they do occur.
  • West Central Indiana Watershed Alliance is being awarded $1,130 for Merom Bluff Park Improvements. Grant funds will be used to improve the Town of Merom’s historic Bluff Park overlooking the Wabash River in southwestern Indiana. The project will include tree plantings, litter cleanup and erosion control features to stabilize the river bank at this location. The project will also include adding gravel at the park playground to cut down on sediment tracking and to encourage use of the facilities, which are now avoided during wet weather.

Entries in IN should be sent to:
Indiana American Water
555 E. County Line Rd., 
Greenwood, IN 46143



2015 Iowa American Water Environmental Grant Program

Iowa American Water is issuing three grants totaling more than $7,000 to the following organizations:

  • River Action, Inc. will be awarded $4,500 for its Student Citizen Science at Lost Grove Lake Program. The program will provide environmental learning opportunities for 200 students at Lost Grove Lake, north of Scott County. In field experimental education will contribute to the overall improvement of student knowledge and understanding of ecosystem function and watershed management.  

  • Keep Scott County Beautiful will be awarded $1,500 for Xstream Cleanup 2015. Xstream Cleanup is an annual Quad-City wide cleanup of streams, creeks, drainage areas and sections of the Mississippi River. About 1,500 volunteers will help the community and our environment by clearing debris from 30-45 sites on Saturday, August 8. Last year volunteers removed approximately 33,000 pounds of debris from area waterways.      

  • Gateway ImpACT Coalition will be awarded a $1,000 grant for its Safe Disposal of Medication Project. One goal of the project is to increase community awareness and marketing, which includes working with local media, providers and partners, to use medication drop boxes for disposal of unneeded medication in a safe, convenient and environmentally friendly manner.

Entries in IA should be sent to:
Lisa M. Reisen, PHR
5201 Grand Avenue
Davenport, IA  52807



2015 Kentucky American Water Environmental Grant Program

Since launching the program in 2006, Kentucky American Water has awarded more than $165,000 for environmental projects.

To qualify for Environmental Grant funding, a proposed project must be:

• Located within Kentucky American Water's 11-county service area (Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison, Jessamine, Nicholas Owen, Scott and Woodford counties)
• Address a source water or watershed protection need
• Completed between May and November of the grant funding year
• Establish a new or innovative program or a significant expansion to an existing program
• Be carried out by a formal or informal partnership of at least two organizations; and provide evidence of sustainability.

Hard copy applications should be mailed to:
Susan Lancho
Kentucky American Water
2300 Richmond Road
Lexington, KY 40502

For more information about the program, contact Susan Lancho at

2015 Kentucky American Water Environmental Grant Program

Kentucky American Water is issuing four grants totaling nearly $9,200 to the following organizations:

  • “Sweep and Restore,” coordinated by the Friends of Stoner Creek in Bourbon County, Ky., will conduct tire and other debris removal and proper disposal, as well as tree and shrub planting  efforts along the barren banks of Stoner Creek, which serves as the source of water supply for the City of Paris as well as Kentucky American Water’s customers in Millersburg, Ky. The project, which will receive $4,300 in grant funds, will involve the Friends of Stoner Creek, a volunteer organization, as well as the Bourbon County Road Department, local Boy Scouts, the Bourbon County Citizen newspaper, the Kentucky Division of Water, Kentucky Department of Forestry and the City of Paris.  The effort will address creek bank erosion issues that affect aquatic life, algal bloom issues in the creek due to the barren banks’ lack of shade, and water flow reduction caused by a buildup of tires and other debris in and along the creek.

  • “Urban Orchard and Storm Water Run-Off Collaboration Project,” coordinated by Seedleaf in Lexington, will involve increasing the amount of plant material in the urban areas of Lexington through community gardens of fruit and nut trees, which assist in reducing harmful storm water run-off, thereby protecting urban waterways that ultimately flow into large bodies of water, including the Kentucky River.  The effort will also assist in providing additional, nutritious food options for limited income families as well as assist in beautifying urban neighborhoods.  The project, which will receive $4,900 in grant funds, will also involve Town Branch Tree Experts, Micheler’s Florist, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, England’s Orchard and the William Wells Brown Neighborhood Association.



2015 Missouri American Water Environmental Grant Program

Missouri American Water is issuing five grants totaling $19,650 to the following organizations:

The Alliance of Southwest Missouri located in Joplin will use funds for the purchase and promotion of permanent prescription drug drop-off boxes.  This project is a collaborative effort among many organizations including Joplin Schools, Jasper County Sheriffs and the Joplin Police Department.
Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center in Joplin will use funds for the annual “Shoal Creek Water Festival” bringing awareness to the need to protect Shoal Creek as it is Joplin’s main source of drinking water.
Missouri River Relief for the “Big Muddy Home Waters” clean-up.  Funds are used to organize community based clean-ups of trash from the Missouri River in St. Louis and St. Charles Counties.
The Missouri Coalition for the Environment in St. Louis will use the grant to purchase an interactive watershed health educational display.  This model will introduce and teach watershed protection concepts to local residents.
The St. Joseph Youth Alliance will use funds for “Project WET,” a program with local youth involving stream clean-ups and water quality testing.

Entires in MO should be sent to:
Christie Barnhart
2650 E. 32nd Street Ste. 121
Joplin, MO  64804


New Jersey

2015 New Jersey American Water Environmental Grant Program

New Jersey American Water is issuing six grants totaling more than $36,000 to the following organizations:

  • Central Jersey Stream Team (Old Bridge) will perform several cleanups of refuse in and along the Raritan River, from Branchburg to Bound Brook.
  • Great Swamp Watershed Association (New Vernon) will conduct an environmental education program to bring awareness to community members as to their proximity within the watershed, identify their drinking water and wastewater inflow and outflow sites, and how storm water runoff impacts local water supply.
  • Kean University (Union) will restore and improve water source protection for the Manasquan River in Monmouth County by conducting workshops and river bank stabilization projects with local high school students along with the New Jersey Water Supply Authority.
  • Mt. Holly Environmental Commission (Mt. Holly) plans to replace turf grass with native grasses and plants in four naturalized detention basins. The project aims to protect the Rancocas Creek through effective storm water runoff.
  • New Jersey Tree Foundation (Camden) will partner with the Camden City School District to install an urban reforestation and environmental education project. The program will plant approximately 30 trees and remove 160 square feet of concrete to help remove pollutants from more than 7,500 gallons of storm water. In addition, more than 100 East Camden students will learn about urban forestry and storm water management.
  • Poricy Park Conservancy (Middletown) will install erosion control measures along the embankments of Murray Pond and work to increase awareness of the importance of the watershed protection.

Entries for New Jersey should be mailed to:
New Jersey American Water
P.O. Box 102
Bound Brook, NJ 08805
Attn: Greer Thacker

For More Information
Contact Greer Thacker at


New York

2014 New York American Water Environmental Grant Program

New York American Water is issuing one grant totaling $5,000 to the following organization:

  • The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County will use its grant for the Grow Native|Live Native project, which encourages county residents to think about the health of their environment and engages them in learning about and creating native plant gardens in their homes, businesses and community. Landscaping with native wildflowers and grasses greatly improves the health of the ecosystem, preserves the underground water aquifers, uses fewer fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, is more sustainable and ultimately saves the homeowner money.

Entries in NY should be sent to:
New York American Water

60 Brooklyn Avenue
Merrick, NY 11566



2016 Pennsylvania American Water Environmental Grant Program

Pennsylvania American Water is issuing seven grants totaling nearly $35,000 to the following organizations:

  • Armstrong Conservation District, Armstrong County will use it's grant to develop a website and outreach program that uses GPS technology and geocaching to draw geocache seekers to local watershed improvement projects. The program is designed to highlight best management practices among watershed restoration and protection projects.
  • Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, Butler County with the grant, the society will host a workshop for local municipalities to receive hands-on training on the installation of a rain garden at a community park. When completed, the rain garden will not only improve the health of the Connoquenessing Creek but also serve as a model for local residents.
  • Berks Nature, Berks County grant will allow the organization to provide hands-on environmental education for students at Wilson West Middle School. The project includes developing an outdoor learning environment where students will learn about the watershed, drinking water supplies and stormwater issues while also conducting water testing and data collection.
  • Lacawac Sanctuary, Wayne County with the funding, the organization will develop a water resource program for fourth-grade classes in Luzerne County that will educate students on the importance of watersheds and how to protect water sources.
  • Lawrence County Conservation District the organization will develop two youth nature camps to connect local children to the environment through hands-on lessons, activities and crafts.
  • Lehman Sanctuary, Luzerne County grant will fund the building of a field station within the Huntsville Reservoir watershed to enable environmental education programs for students, in addition to helping naturalists and educators conduct research and teaching opportunities.
  • Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper, Union County will use the funding to develop a best practices manual for planning and measuring stream clean-up projects, as well as provide training via webinars for watershed associations and environmental organizations, and a webpage to house the manual and a calendar of clean-up projects. The project also includes plans to develop a children's book about taking care of the river.

See our 2016 Winners press release.

Entries in PA should be sent to:
Lorrie Page 
Pennsylvania American Water
800 West Hersheypark Drive
Hershey, PA 17033

For more information:
Contact Lorrie at



2015 Tennessee American Water Environmental Grant Program

Tennessee American Water is issuing three grants totaling $8,750 to the following organizations:

  • Lookout Mountain Conservancy – “Environmental Connection: Connecting Youth with Water and Land” This is the fourth phase and the fourth year that Tennessee American Water supports this unique partnership between the Lookout Mountain Conservancy and at-risk youth who are connected to the land and water in a way that transforms the lives of the participants. The project consists of continued restoration of 1+ acres of land, which is a steep kudzu and trash covered ravine draining to Chattanooga Creek and the Tennessee River. 
  • Hamilton County Coalition – “Community & Regional Awareness and Drug Disposal Project” As a partner with Tennessee American Water for annual “Drug Take Back” events, the Coalition has expanded its outreach to include surrounding counties. The grant will allow them to continue to educate citizens on the proper disposal of medications to keep them out of the environment as well as potential misuse in their homes. It will also allow for additional permanent drug drop-off disposal locations. 
  • Tennessee River Gorge Trust – “Improving TRGT Bird Banding Facilities in Partnership with Southeast Conservation Corps” This is the second year that Tennessee American Water supports the TRGT’s Bird Observatory and related birdbanding research. This project will provide critical infrastructure to the Bird Observatory area with the engagement of you

Entries for TN should be sent to:
Kimberly Moore
Tennessee American Water
109 Wiehl Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403



2015 Virginia American Water Environmental Grant Program

Virginia American Water is issuing three grants totaling $4,500 to the following organizations:

  • Friends of the Lower Appomattox River (FOLAR) is receiving $1,500 for its River Fest Stewardship Program. This program will engage and inform families about surface and ground water protection through hands-on activities, making the science and solutions relevant to their lives.
  • Friends of the Occoquan (FOTO) will receive $1,500 for a series of workshops on rain barrels and community gardens in Prince William County at Brentsville High School and senior centers. FOTO will use the funds to purchase the rain barrels and conduct the workshops to educate community members on the beneficial use of rain barrels for watering gardens.
  • The Prince William Conservation Alliance in Woodbridge will receive $1,500 for the Minnieville Road Buffer Restoration Project. This project is intended to help prevent erosion and the flow of storm water in a problem area of Dale City, improve community appearance, improve wildlife habitat, and create volunteer stewardship opportunities.

Entries in VA should be sent to:
Christian Volk, Ph.D.,
Water Quality Manager
VA/MD-American Water
900 Industrial Street, PO Box 60
Hopewell, VA 23860


West Virginia

2015 West Virginia American Water Environmental Grant Program

West Virginia American Water is issuing six grants totaling $10,000 to the following organizations:

  • Coal River Group ($1,500) for its water festival and fecal coliform testing program
  • Friends of Blackwater ($2,500) for a teacher training and educational workshop
  • Morris Creek Watershed Association ($2,000) to purchase waders for water quality data collection and education
  • Shady Spring Elementary School ($1,000) for its “Wet and Wild Wetland” program that encourages student observation and investigation
  • Southern Appalachian Labor School ($500) for a prescription drug take back program to help improve and protect water quality in Loop Creek
  • Valley High School ($2,500) for educational materials and equipment to conduct water sampling along the Kanawha River

Entries in WV should be sent to:
West Virginia American Water
Attn: Megan Hannah
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Charleston, WV 25302