U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and Coca-Cola Americas President Steve Cahillane announced a public-private partnership to restore and protect damaged watersheds on national lands. Together these efforts aim to return more than a billion liters of water to the National Forest System – which provides drinking water to more than 60 million Americans. The announcement was made at Midewin Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois.
“By working together, we can better protect our nation’s watersheds and further enhance restoration efforts, even during challenging budget times,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Today’s partnership between Federal, private and non-profit partners is just one example of the strong collaboration that allows government to continue providing results for the American people.”
The new collaboration between government, business and community organizations, including the National Forest Foundation (NFF) and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), which have also contributed funding for these projects, will leverage collective expertise to address increasing challenges on water resources. Additionally, federal dollars spent on these projects have been matched two-to-one by Coca-Cola, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Forest Foundation.
The U.S. Forest Service and Coca-Cola are committed to continuing their work together to sustain our nation’s water supply. The organizations signed an agreement formalizing their partnership to continue collaboration through 2018.