JOPLIN, MO. — Missouri American Water announced today that the application process is now open for its 2011 Environmental Grant Program to support innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore, or protect watersheds and community drinking water supplies.

The company will award grants of up to $10,000. The program is designed to support diverse types of activities, such as watershed cleanups, reforestation efforts, biodiversity projects, streamside buffer restoration projects, wellhead protection initiatives and hazardous waste collection efforts.

"The Environmental Grant Program has been very successful in helping local organizations carry out meaningful, sustainable initiatives that benefit our watersheds,” said Frank Kartmann, president, Missouri American Water. "We encourage municipalities, schools, environmental organizations and civic groups to apply for a grant to support projects that will benefit a watershed in their community."

To qualify, a proposed project must be located within a Missouri American Water service area and address a source water or watershed protection need in the community. All projects will be completed between May 1, 2011 and November 30, 2011. Judging criteria will include program innovation for the community, partnerships with other organizations and program sustainability.

In 2010, Missouri American Water awarded four grants totaling approximately $20,000 to:

  • East-West Gateway Council of Government in St. Louis – water quality project in the lower Meramec River
  • Missouri River Relief in Columbia – Missouri River clean-up
  • Trailnet, Inc. in St. Louis – Watkins Creek watershed program
  • Environmental Task Force of Jasper and Newton Counties in Joplin – Shoal Creek water quality testing

Grant information and application forms can be found online at Applications must be postmarked by March 25, 2011, and mailed to Christie Barnhart at Missouri American Water, 2650 East 32nd Street, Suite 121, Joplin, MO 64804.