YSI awards special grant to Columbia Riverkeeper

Columbia Riverkeeper has received a $60,000 grant from the YSI Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Yellow Springs, Ohio-based YSI Incorporated. Gayle Rominger, executive vice president of YSI, presented the grant to Rachael Pecore, Science and Volunteer Programs Director of Columbia Riverkeeper. Columbia Riverkeeper's water quality monitoring program uses trained volunteers to collect water quality data on the Columbia River, the Pacific Northwest's longest river...

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ, May 19, 2008 -- Today at the National Water Quality Monitoring Conference in Atlantic City, Columbia Riverkeeper received a $60,000 grant from the YSI Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Yellow Springs, Ohio-based YSI Incorporated.

Gayle Rominger, executive vice president of YSI, presented the grant to Rachael Pecore, Science and Volunteer Programs Director of Columbia Riverkeeper. In her remarks to Conference attendees Rominger noted, "Our federal, state and local government agencies can make laws intended to protect our natural resources but it is the grassroots work of the community volunteer groups who do the real work. As one member of our grant selection committee said, 'It is heartening to see what concerned citizens are doing to understand, protect, and restore aquatic resources.'"

Columbia Riverkeeper's water quality monitoring program uses trained volunteers to collect water quality data on the Columbia River, the Pacific Northwest's longest river. Since 2006 the group has observed a rise in temperature which has affected the survival rate of aquatic species, in particular salmon and steelhead. The organization's work impacts both Oregon and Washington through a watershed-wide focus on identifying how temperature and related water quality parameters of the river change as water flows downstream.

Pecore further explains, "With the YSI grant for capacity building, our volunteers will monitor 100 sites total in backwaters and mainstem eddies for riparian restoration or protection in order to provide temporary cool-water refuges for juvenile salmonids and other native species. With more monitoring, volunteers can soon identify and prioritize at least five restoration sites by 2009, one site per community."

"The selection committee was ultimately impressed with Columbia Riverkeeper's clear goals and strategies, along with the fact that it is building on an existing program that has a high probability of sustaining its efforts well beyond the life of the grant funding," noted Rick Omlor, CEO and president of YSI.

The YSI Foundation announced its call for grant applications in mid-March and received 201 entries for the $60,000, which is a one-time special award amount in honor of the company's 60th anniversary.

YSI Inc. is a global company that designs sensor instrumentation and real-time monitoring systems for professionals who protect natural resources and aquatic life.

Columbia Riverkeeper is an Oregon-based citizen organization officially formed by the merger of Clean Water Columbia and Columbia River United. Its mission is "to restore and protect the water quality of the Columbia River and all life connected to it, from the headwaters to the Pacific Ocean."

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