FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2009
John Ross, Virginia Council of TU, firstname.lastname@example.org, (540) 592-7020
Chris Shockey, West Virginia Council of TU, email@example.com, (304) 422-1375
Todd Burns, AEP, firstname.lastname@example.org, (540) 798-2686
AEP Foundation Provides $100,000 for Cold Water Conservation in Region
Grant establishes Trout Conservation Fund for the Virginias, the largest such interstate grant in the region
Trout Unlimited (TU) today received a grant of $100,000 from the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation to support cold-water conservation in AEP’s Appalachian Power service area in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee. It is the largest interstate cold-water conservation grant in the region.
The funds will be utilized by TU chapters in three core project areas: conservation projects that create volunteerism opportunities for AEP/Appalachian Power employees to partner with TU volunteers; student education projects through TU’s national Trout in the Classroom program; and habitat restoration projects that conserve, enhance, and restore populations of native brook trout— the state fish in both Virginia and West Virginia.
Over the next four years, the AEP Foundation grant will be disbursed through the Virginia Council of TU (VCTU) to chapters as follows: $40,000 to fund eight habitat restoration projects, four in Virginia and four in West Virginia; $40,000 to underwrite 36 Trout in the Classroom projects over the next four years, four in Virginia, four in West Virginia, and one in Tennessee annually; and $20,000 to extend a power company access road to Little Tumbling Creek in Smyth County Virginia by .6 mile to facilitate liming the stream and foster an immediate resurgence of brook trout populations.
“The AEP Foundation grant for Trout Unlimited is about clean water,” said Dana Waldo, Appalachian Power president and COO. “It provides exciting opportunities to not only let Appalachian Power employee volunteers partner with TU chapters to clean and restore streams over the next four years, but enhance science education through the Trout In The Classroom projects in West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee. Through education, youth, volunteerism and the environment, this grant provides bountiful opportunities for our employees and our customers to come together for the betterment of our service area.”
TU will leverage the AEP Foundation grant by establishing The Trout Conservation Fund for the Virginias. This fund will be grown with contributions from other entities or individuals. Historically, each dollar of private funding received can be leveraged into $5.
“It is our goal that The Trout Conservation Fund for the Virginias will be an enduring vehicle to protect, restore, and reconnect trout through habitat improvement and to sustain trout conservation through education in southwestern Virginia and southern West Virginia,” said VCTU Chair John Ross.
“In these difficult economic times, it is very refreshing that a corporation such as AEP can still find the means to fund conservation programs,” said West Virginia Council of TU (WVCTU) Chair Chris Shockey. “Trout in the Classroom is one of the best TU programs going, and to fund four additional programs will enable us to educate more children in the TU vision.”
The Trout Conservation Fund for the Virginias will be managed by a steering committee comprised of the VCTU and WVCTU chairs, a chapter president from Virginia and West Virginia, two members from AEP/Appalachian Power staff, and the treasurer from VCTU who serves as the fund’s business manager. The steering committee will set criteria for grants, select projects from those proposed by state councils, monitor disbursement of funds, seek additional funding, and provide an annual report to the AEP Foundation, VCTU, WVCTU, and TU’s national office.
About the Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited
The Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited is made up of 16 chapters and 4,000 members committed to conserving, protecting, and restoring the state's mountain streams, spring creeks, and the trout fisheries they support.
About the West Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited
The West Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited is a network of more than 1,600 volunteers and nine local chapters committed to the TU mission of conserving, protecting and restoring our coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.
About the American Electric Power Foundation
The American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation is funded by American Electric Power and its utility operating units. The Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP's 11-state service area.