Duke Energy grant to further TU's work in North Carolina

Duke Energy awarded more than $1 million in grants to 14 organizations. Pictured with grant recipients is Mike Hughes (far right), Duke Energy’s vice president of community relations.

Trout Unlimited has received a $94,919 grant to continue its commitment to protecting and enhancing regional waterways and the environment. The grant is part of the Water Resources Fund, a $10 million commitment from Duke Energy.

TU is one of 14 organizations across North and South Carolina to collectively receive more than $1 million in the fifth grant announcement. The Water Resources Fund is a multi-year commitment that will leave a legacy of improved water quality, quantity and conservation in the Carolinas and neighboring regions.

“We are grateful to Duke Energy for this generous support, which is invaluable to Trout Unlimited’s sustained coldwater conservation efforts in the mountains of western North Carolina,” said Andy Brown, Southern Appalachian stream restoration manager for Trout Unlimited. “In 2017 we will undertake several major projects to improve coldwater habitat.”

TU will remove or replace ill-suited or poorly functioning culverts across three headwater streams, re-connecting 9 miles of aquatic habitat for eastern brook trout and other aquatic species and, in the process, eliminating a significant sediment source to these otherwise high quality waters.

Additionally, Duke Energy’s support will help TU leverage $338,000 from other partners to expand coldwater conservation to other sites in the region, not only this field season but into the future. Partners include the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, U.S. Forest Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.

“Duke Energy is committed to protecting and restoring the rivers and waterways that are valuable resources for our communities and regional economy,” said Cari Boyce, president of the Duke Energy Foundation. “We look forward to our partnership with Trout Unlimited and the impact this grant will have in North Carolina.”

Investment decisions are carefully reviewed by the Water Resources Fund committee, an independent body that includes five environmental experts and two Duke Energy employees. Selected projects are chosen on several criteria, including whether the project is science-based and research-supported.

Duke Energy anticipates two grant announcements per year over the course of the Water Resources Fund. Visit nccommunityfoundation.org for more information on how to apply and register for the session.

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of the communities where its customers live and work. The foundation provides more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts. The foundation’s education focus spans kindergarten to career, particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), early childhood literacy and workforce development. It also supports the environment and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture.

Duke Energy employees and retirees actively contribute to their communities as volunteers and leaders at a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. Duke Energy is committed to building on its legacy of community service. For more information, visit http://www.duke-energy.com/foundation.

Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.

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By Mark Taylor. A native of rural southern Oregon, Mark Taylor has lived in Virginia since serving a stint as a ship-based naval officer in Norfolk. He joined the TU staff in 2014 after a 20-year run as a newspaper journalist, the final 16 as the outdoors editor of the Roanoke Times. A graduate of Northwestern University, he lives in Roanoke with his wife and, when they're home from college, his twin daughters.