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"I BELIEVE in connected landscapes; so connected that my children can walk from one point to another."
Chris Bunting, Y2Y Supporter since 2007

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Y2Y Receives a 2015 RBC Blue Water Grant

Y2Y and Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley are selected in Alberta and the Territories to receive a 2015 RBC Blue Water Grant.

June 4, 2015

Canmore, AB - RBC announced today a donation of $20,000 to Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) to support the Alberta Headwaters Project phase 2, which will help to protect and restore ecosystem services such as flood control, increase public awareness of watershed values, safeguard nature-based recreation, protect key wildlife habitat, and reduce possible land-use conflicts.

“This grant from RBC is a testimony to the importance of working together to protect upstream areas to positively influence what happens downstream,” says Sarah Cox, Y2Y’s Senior Conservation Program Manager. “The Alberta floods in 2013 reinforced just how crucial it is for people to understand those links, and to join the call for better protection for our irreplaceable headwaters.”

The Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley also received a donation of $10,000 to support a Mobile Water EduKit, which will engage groups in hands-on activities that educate about protecting and preserving water in urban environments, including information specific to this region and its place in the larger system.

“RBC’s Blue Water Project Grant will not only help us create awareness through the Mobile Water EduKit, but also engage students and the public in taking hands-on individual actions to help protect and preserve our local waterways,” says Dr. Melanie Watt, Executive Director of the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley. “We are excited to get this project underway, as we have already received requests to bring it to classrooms!”

This year, the RBC Blue Water Project has committed $247,800 in grants in Alberta and the Territories, to11organizations that are committed to improving urban water quality, enhancing storm water management and protecting and restoring urban waterways.

“At RBC, we know that water is essential to everything we do – from our most basic daily needs to ensuring our global economy can function successfully,” says Michelle Dagenais, Canmore RBC Branch Manager. “By supporting the efforts of Yellowstone to Yukon and the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, we are able to help raise awareness and fund water projects that will help provide access to drinkable, swimmable, fishable water, now and for future generations.”

Today’s announcement is part of RBC’s annual Blue Water Day, a time for RBC employees around the globe to come together to protect their local water sources through “Makeovers”: clean ups, plantings and awareness-raising. In 2014, over 20,000 employees completed 751 Makeovers worldwide.

“RBC has a longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability,” continued Michelle Dagenais. “We understand first and foremost that every little bit we do today can help a lot tomorrow. We’re proud that our employees in Canmore and around the world are willing year after year to do their part in their communities through RBC Blue Water Day Makeovers.”

Canmore's RBC Branch Manager Michelle Dagenais (centre) and her team (in blue shirts) present the award cheques to Y2Y's Claire Jarrold and Melanie Watt, Executive Director of the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley.

About RBC Blue Water Project
The RBC Blue Water Project is a historic, wide-ranging, 10-year global commitment to help protect the world's most precious natural resource: fresh water. Since 2007, RBC has pledged over $41 million to more than 700 charitable organizations worldwide that protect water, including the grants announced today, with an additional $8.8 million pledged to universities for water programs. For further information, visit www.rbc.com/bluewater.

About RBC Community and Sustainability
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) is Canada’s largest bank and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We employ approximately 78,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 39 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com. RBC is recognized among the world’s financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2015 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the DJSI North American Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, and one of Canada’s 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations. Learn more at www.rbc.com/community-sustainability.

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2014, we contributed more than $111 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $76 million and $35 million in sponsorships

About Y2Y
Y2Y is a joint Canada-U.S. not-for-profit organization that connects and protects habitat from Yellowstone to Yukon so people and nature can thrive. Using a collaborative approach to conservation, Y2Y works closely with multiple partners, including scientists, conservation groups, landowners, businesses, government agencies and First Nations, in an effort to maintain the health of this important landscape. www.y2y.net

About the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley
The Biosphere Institute is a charitable organization dedicated to ensuring the ecological integrity and well-being of the ecosystem through education, research and outreach. It promotes sustainable communities and environmental stewardship by engaging youth, residents, visitors, and local businesses though its award winning outreach programs and its community resource center. www.biosphereinstitute.org

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For more information, or to speak with an RBC Blue Water Project spokesperson, please contact:

Jenna MacDonald
Advisor, Corporate Communications
RBC, Alberta and the Territories