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Local riverkeeper wins grant for water tests
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STATESBORO — This week River Network and MillerCoors announced the winners of a nationwide grant competition. Ogeechee-Canoochee Riverkeeper won the grant competition with more than 2,000 votes for their volunteer fish collection project. This project will organize volunteers to catch fish from the Ogeechee, Canoochee and coastal rivers to test for mercury levels.

"We are so excited to have the support of over 2,000 people for this project," said Chandra Brown, Riverkeeper and Executive Director. "Mercury is a dangerous pollutant that can cause serious health problems. Collecting the fish and verifying the mercury levels in the rivers and along the coast is the first step towards reducing the amount of mercury that makes its way into the fish and our bodies."

Ogeechee-Canoochee Riverkeeper was one of eight groups chosen to compete for four $10,000 grants from MillerCoors. "These grants will provide investment and support to local organizations that focus on watershed quality, education, and conservation efforts in their communities," said Kim Marotta, vice president of corporate social responsibility at MillerCoors. "Our partnership with River Network is one example of how MillerCoors strives to bring about water conservation at the local level, as part of our greater focus on environmental sustainability."

"River Network is inspired by the ability of our local partners to tackle the biggest environmental challengers of our time and we’re especially grateful to MillerCoors for helping to make this work possible," said River Network President Ezra Milchman. "The outpouring of interest and support for each of the finalists shows the enthusiasm of the public to get involved and their desire to see on the ground action."

Ogeechee-Canoochee Riverkeeper hopes to be able to test up to 150 fish from different locations on the Ogeechee, Canoochee and coastal rivers. The total cost of the project is over $50,000. To volunteer to help catch the fish or to make a donation, contact Ogeechee-Canoochee Riverkeeper at cbrown@ocrk.org or 866-942-622.

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