Convenience store coalition pledges support to Water Keeper Alliance

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Tariq Khan, Chairman of the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees, at a press conference here today announced that 7-Eleven store owners are helping save America's waterways by selling Keeper Springs water, which raises money for Kennedy's non-profit Water Keeper Alliance, a volunteer group working to reclaim rivers and other waterways from polluters.

As summer nears and people head to beaches and rivers, RFK Jr. Calls on public to be 'keepers' of local waterways and report polluters

ELMONT, N.Y., May 14, 2001 — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Tariq Khan, Chairman of the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees, at a press conference here today announced that 7-Eleven store owners are helping save America's waterways by selling Keeper Springs water, which raises money for Kennedy's non-profit Water Keeper Alliance, a volunteer group working to reclaim rivers and other waterways from polluters.

At a press conference held at an Elmont, New York 7-Eleven store (1571 Hempstead Turnpike), Kennedy said, "Our country's rivers, streams, lakes and other waters are in trouble. We appreciate the National Coalition of 7- Elevens, which brings marketing muscle to reach into communities in the nation's heartland to help the Water Keeper Alliance safeguard waterways for future generations."

Kennedy called on Americans to do their part to protect the country's waterways, saying, "As summer nears and people head to beaches and rivers for family fun, we ask them to be 'Keepers' of local waterways by reporting polluters when they can."

Khan said, "We're glad to help the Water Keepers Alliance and hope other retailers follow the lead of 7-Eleven franchisees in getting behind their efforts." Keeper Springs Pure Mountain Spring Water is a product of Tear of the Clouds, formed by Kennedy and his associates to help fund the group's efforts.

Kevin Dobson of TV's "Knots Landing," "FX" and "Kojak," joined such stars as Dan Aykroyd and Lorraine Bracco ("The Sopranos") who help the Water Keepers Alliance. He said, "We should all pitch in to help the Water Keeper Alliance. Unfortunately, when it comes to our waterways, you get what you inspect, not what you expect."

The Water Keeper Alliance dates to 1966, when fishermen and residents acted to rescue New York's Hudson River from polluters and formed the Hudson River Keeper, the first "Keeper" organization to identify and sue polluters. Money won in the lawsuits was used to build a boat and hire a full-time Keeper to patrol the river in 1983. The Hudson Riverkeeper has filed over 150 successful legal actions against polluters, resulting in $2 billion in fines. The Hudson Riverkeeper has become an international model for ecosystem protection.

Khan said, "The National Coalition's 3,300 members are spread across America, so we are glad Tear Of The Clouds sends 100% of its profits from Keeper Springs sales back to groups working to safeguard local waters."

An acknowledged environmental leader, Kennedy authored "The Riverkeepers" and is a leading advocate of saving the nation's waterways. With attorney Chris Bartle and John Hoving, he co-founded Tear Of The Clouds. The Water Keeper Alliance, the umbrella group for all Keepers, is a network of 57 non- profit environmental organizations aggressively working to clean waterways and reclaim natural resources in the U.S., Canada and Central America. Most recently, Mr. Kennedy has taken an active role regarding the environmental impact of military exercises in the waters off the island of Puerto Rico.

Kennedy started Keeper Springs to raise money and awareness for the clean water movement. Keeper Springs donates all profits after taxes to the Water Keeper Alliance. He said, "The Water Keeper Alliance is a member-supported organization and a premier guardian of America's watersheds. Currently, over 170 applications to join the Alliance are being reviewed, indicating that soon every major waterway in the United States will host a Keeper program."

Kennedy, also chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper, is a former New York City District Attorney, is a Senior Attorney of the National Resources Defense Council and a Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney at the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic at Pace University School of Law in White Plains, NY. He is credited with negotiating the $1.5 billion NYC watershed agreement. On a national level, he helped turn back anti- environmental legislation during the 104th Congress and he is also an active international environmental advocate.

Keeper Springs is sold in New York, New England and Mid Atlantic region. Bottled from natural springs with the highest environmental standards, it retails for $1.09 a liter and meets or exceeds guidelines of the Natural Resource Defense Council, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the International Bottled Water Association and Natural Spring Water Association. For information about the Water Keepers Alliance, visit the organization's website at www.keepersprings.com.

The National Coalition Of Associations Of 7-Eleven Franchisees, headquartered in Rockville Centre, New York, represents some two-thirds of all independently owned and franchised 7-Eleven stores nationwide, each active in regional 7-Eleven Associations and in a variety of ways, in local communities in which they operate. There are 3,118 independently owned franchised stores 7-Eleven stores in America.

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