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Alcoa Foundation and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Announce New Conservation Grants Collaboration

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Alcoa Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced that in its first year, their innovative new biodiversity partnership has provided support to six conservation grants across the United States. The six grants announced in 2014 will restore wildlife habitats, revitalize waterways, establish and enhance native forests and engage thousands of volunteers in environmental stewardship projects. This partnership is part of Alcoa Foundation's broader commitment to biodiversity, supporting nonprofits in the Arctic, Brazil, Australia and Jamaica to develop and implement methodologies for preserving ecosystems.

These grants are awarded through three NFWF programs to leverage resources benefiting communities in: Seattle, Washington; Davenport, Iowa; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Projects were selected through the Five Star and Urban Waters Program, the Forestlands Stewards Initiative and the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund. The grants will leverage Alcoa Foundation's investment of $300,000 with approximately $3.5 million in additional funds and in-kind support from agency and project partners for a total conservation investment of $3.8 million.

"An investment in preserving the natural environment is an investment in the long-term sustainability of communities," said Esra Ozer, President of Alcoa Foundation. "NFWF's proven expertise in this field, combined with the energy of thousands of volunteers, will help us strengthen those communities by improving the health of rivers and protecting the fragile biodiversity."

"The six grants funded in 2014 through our partnership with Alcoa Foundation are a great start to our joint efforts," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. "These diverse grants focus on expanding natural resource conservation which provides real benefits to communities working to make our nation more environmentally sustainable."

Grant winners were selected from highly competitive pools and consideration for funding is based upon a high degree of community engagement, bio diverse ecologies and other cultural and economic benefits to the community.

2014 Alcoa Partnership Grantees

Save Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau Riparian Hemlock Forests
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will preserve the integrity of priority riparian hemlock ecosystems on two Wildlife Management Areas and two Natural Areas to protect habitat for a number of species of concern.

Cumberland Shortleaf and Woodland Savannah Restoration (KY, TN)
The National Wild Turkey Foundation will restore shortleaf and woodland savannas on public lands in Tennessee and Kentucky. Management activities include prescribed fire, opening enhancement, timber stand improvements, and public outreach field days.

Whole Farm Conservation Including Forested Buffers (PA)
Stroud Water Research Center will use their "raise the bar" approach to implement whole farm conservation including forested buffers on 18+ farms in Franklin and Lancaster Counties in PA.

Beyond Compliance; Continuous Improvement in the Pequea (PA)
Lancaster Farmland Trust will implement a suite of best management practices on six strategic farms in the Pequea Creek Watershed and enroll farmers in a continuous improvement program to elevate farms beyond compliance.

Urban Watershed Restoration at Green Valley Nature Preserve (IA)
River Action will restore the remainder of the 250 acre Green Valley area and its tributaries, restoring a critical urban watershed. This project will build off restoration efforts at Green Valley completed in fall, 2013.

Meeker Creek Habitat Restoration (WA)
Pierce Conservation District will restore a 1,000-foot section of Meeker Creek in Puyallup, WA, transforming it from a manmade ditch into a natural stream channel.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation's wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most intractable conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,000 organizations and committed more than $2.3 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.

About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $470 million. Founded 62 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $590 million. In 2013, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $22 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow's leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa's thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company's signature Month of Service program, in 2013, a record 62 percent of Alcoa employees took part in nearly 1,300 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 505,000 people and 1,900 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit alcoafoundation.com and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.

CONTACT: Suzanne van de Raadt, Alcoa Foundation, 212-836-2662 suzanne.vanderaadt@alcoa.com Carrie Clingan, NFWF, 202-857-0166, carrie.clingan@nfwf.org

Source:National Fish and Wildlife Foundation