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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLO.—The International Erosion Control Association (IECA) created the Save Our International Land (SOIL) Fund to provide a funding source for programs and projects that improve the environment by addressing erosion and sediment control issues through education, research, and applied technology. Although the official launch of the fund will be held at the general session of Environmental Connection 2008 (EC08) in February, the fund is currently accepting donations through IECA’s website (www.ieca.org/soil). Examples of the types of projects the fund will support include Engineers Without Borders’ Tsurakú Project in Ecuador; Biological Soil Crust (BSC) research and development; and a water quality project in the Nyando Basin Area of Western Kenya, Africa.

"This is a way for IECA members and other professionals in the industry to contribute to something they are passionate about," said Mark Hunter, P.E., who co-chairs the fund’s committee. "It also will allow IECA to reach beyond the borders of one country and effect change throughout the world."

In addition to the general session presentation, IECA will celebrate the launch and raise money for the fund with the Soil Fund 5K Run/Walk on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008, at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Fla. A portion of all registration fees will go to the SOIL Fund. Awards will be given to the participants with the best and worst times, age group winners, and the person who raised the most money. Registration information and donation forms are available at www.ieca.org/conference/annual/events.asp.