More than 20,000 people cast votes to select the winners of the 2011 MillerCoors–River Network Grant Competition. Six local nonprofits from around the U.S. split $54,000 in grants, benefiting their work to protect regional river systems. And the winners are...

1st place, $30,000 grant

North Carolina Big Sweep received the most votes, winning first place and a $30,000 grant. With their grant, Big Sweep will coordinate a statewide cleanup and implement a litter awareness campaign to help improve water quality in all 100 North Carolina counties.

2nd place, $10,000 grant

Johnson Creek Watershed Council of Milwaukie, Ore., claimed second place and a $10,000 grant. The council will use their funds to restore six acres of riparian forest with native plantings and a trail. It will also engineer 16 log jams to provide cover for threatened salmon.  

3rd place, $5,000 grant

River Revitalization Foundation of Milwaukee, Wis., won third place and $5,000 to reduce stormwater runoff, improve habitat for wildlife, and serve as a primary entrance for recreation in the Milwaukee River valley.

Remaining $3,000 grants

Friends of the Chicago River will use their $3,000 grant to form a new program, Chicago River Eco-Warriors, to increase the number of river volunteers, expand the efforts of those already engaged and provide a forum for advancement.

West Atlanta Watershed Alliance will use their $3,000 grant to educate and engage low-to-moderate income West Atlanta residents in water efficiency and conservation.

 

Savannah Riverkeeper, Inc will use their $3,000 grant to restore 15 acres in the riparian zone of the Savannah River in downtown Augusta, Ga.

For more information on these six organizations and the MillerCoors–River Network Grant Competition, visit RiverNetwork.org.