TRAVELERS REST, S.C. — Furman University has received a $95,000 grant to support its continuing commitment to protecting and enhancing the region’s waterways and environment.
The grant is part of Duke Energy’s Water Resources Fund, a $10 million, multiyear commitment to improve water quality and conservation in the Carolinas and neighboring regions.
Furman University is one of nine organizations across North Carolina and South Carolina to collectively receive more than $730,000 in Duke Energy’s third grant announcement for the fund.
With the funds, Furman will restore a seepage wetland habitat at Swan Lake and improve water quality in the Reedy River watershed by building floating marsh islands. The project also involves removing an existing dike and dredging the tributary mouth.
The project will be the basis for student-faculty ecological research and community education. With matching funds from the university, Furman will construct a pedestrian bridge and provide educational signage.
“Swan Lake lies at the heart of the Furman campus, and this project will serve as a critical piece in our ongoing restoration efforts to improve the quality of the lake,” said Dr. Weston Dripps, Director of the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability. “The removal of the existing dike and creation of a series of marsh islands at one of the stream outlets will enhance the lake’s water quality through improved circulation and nutrient removal, help restore critical wetland habitat for fish, birds and insects, and provide research and education opportunities for our students and the community.
“This project highlights Furman’s ongoing efforts and commitment to promoting environmental stewardship and responsibility,” Dripps said. “We are honored to be selected for this grant and thank Duke Energy for its support.”
“Duke Energy has a long history of investing in water resources across our regions,” said Shawn Heath, president of the Duke Energy Foundation. “We look forward to our partnership with Furman University and the impact this grant will have in Upstate South Carolina.”
Investment decisions are carefully reviewed by the Water Resources Fund committee, an independent body that includes five environmental experts and two Duke Energy employees. Selected projects are chosen on several criteria, including whether the project is science-based and research-supported.
Duke Energy anticipates two grant announcements per year over the course of the Water Resources Fund. Visit http://nccommunityfoundation.org for more information on how to apply.