At a ceremony last night in Tampa Bay, Fla., the Gulf of Mexico Program recognized Monsanto Company with the First Place 2013 Gulf Guardian Award in the Business/Industry Category for the company's Mississippi River Watershed Partnership. The Gulf of Mexico Program applauded the efforts of Monsanto and its partners for their efforts in environmental stewardship for the benefit of the Gulf of Mexico.
"On behalf of the company, our employees and the farmers and partners involved in the Mississippi River Watershed Partnership, we are honored to receive this Gulf Guardian Award," said Jerry Steiner, executive vice president of sustainability and corporate affairs for Monsanto. "This partnership is a good example of working together to continually improve farming and conservation in the Mississippi River Watershed so that nature and people benefit from improved water quality and enhanced wildlife habitat."
The Gulf of Mexico Program began in 1988 to protect, restore, and maintain the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem in economically sustainable ways. The Gulf of Mexico Program is underwritten by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is a non-regulatory, inclusive consortium of state and federal government agencies and representatives of the business and agricultural community, fishing industry, scientists, environmentalists and community leaders from all five Gulf States. The Gulf of Mexico Program seeks to improve the environmental health of the Gulf in concert with economic development.
The Mississippi River Watershed Partnership aimed to reduce nutrient runoff and sediment movement into the largest river system in the United States. Monsanto contributed a total of $5 million in financial support to agricultural and conservation groups—Delta Wildlife, The National Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy—that worked with farmers and urban areas to help reduce runoff into the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.
The Nature Conservancy and Delta Wildlife worked collaboratively with farmers to remove nutrients and sediment from agricultural runoff in the Mississippi River Basin. The National Audubon Society worked with homeowners and others to implement measures that can improve wildlife habitat and the quality of water entering the Mississippi River.
Highlights from the Mississippi River Watershed Partnership include:
-- Delta Wildlife and Mississippi farmers installed 1,000 water control structures, which prevent 20,000 pounds of nitrogen, 10,000 pounds of phosphorous and 9,000 tons of sediment from entering the Gulf of Mexico annually.
-- The Nature Conservancy worked with local partners and agricultural producers in the Root River in Minnesota, the Pecatonica River in Wisconsin, the Boone River in Iowa and the Mackinaw River in Illinois to implement precision conservation measures and practices in agricultural landscapes that addresses nutrient and sediment runoff. Examples of precision conservation include the use of cover crops, strip tillage, bioreactors, no-till farming and installing grass waterways.
-- The National Audubon Society designed and installed nine rain garden demonstration sites in six states across the Mississippi River Basin that highlight best practices for residential and commercial landscape markets. The demonstration sites host more than 1 million visitors annually.
The Gulf of Mexico Program initiated the Gulf Guardian Awards in 2000 as a way to recognize and honor the businesses, community groups, individuals and agencies that are taking positive steps to help keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. First, second and third place awards are given in seven categories: (1) individual, (2) business/industry, (3) youth environmental education, (4) civic/nonprofit organizations, (5) cultural diversity/environmental justice, (6) partnership and (7) bi-national efforts.
Monsanto's work with water use and agriculture is primarily focused in three areas: (1) education and research, (2) products and (3) partnerships. More information on the company's work within these three focused areas and the Mississippi River Watershed Partnership is available at: www.monsanto.com/water.
In April, Monsanto was named one of CR Magazine's 100 Best Corporate Citizens for 2013. Monsanto has been included on the magazine's ranking of corporate responsibility performance of major U.S. companies four times. First published in 1999, the "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list ranks large-cap Russell 1000 companies based on publicly available information in seven key categories: climate change, employee relations, environmental, financial, governance, human rights and philanthropy.
To learn more about Monsanto's sustainable agriculture projects around the world, please see the recently released Monsanto 2012 Sustainability Report at sustainability.monsanto.com or visit www.monsanto.com/improvingagriculture.
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: www.monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows at www.monsantoblog.com, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.