ScottsMiracle-Gro Announces “Water Positive Landscapes” Initiative; Partnership with Nationwide Network of Water Protection Groups

Company will pursue the creation of Water Positive™ landscapes across the U.S. that use less water and protect local waterways through partnerships, homeowner education and innovative products

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| Source: The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company

MARYSVILLE, Ohio, June 07, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, home to the leading brands in lawn and garden care, today announced partnerships with more than a dozen leading water protection organizations across the United States that are focused on water quality and conservation as part of the Company’s nationwide “Water Positive Landscapes” initiative.

The initiative will equip homeowners with educational resources to use water responsibly in their lawn care and gardening activities. The initiative will also focus on product innovation and continued support of independent research on the intersection of these activities and water stewardship.

The first step under the Water Positive Landscapes initiative is the creation of the Water Positive National Partner Network, currently comprised of 13 non-profit organizations that are among America’s leading authorities on water quality and conservation. Collectively, these organizations benefit more than 133 million Americans around the country’s most important waterways.

Creation of the network is believed to mark the first time a major U.S. corporation has worked collaboratively with such a large and diverse group of organizations focused on water protection.

“Gardens can’t grow without water – and as the world’s largest lawn and garden products company, it is our responsibility to help our consumers enjoy the landscapes they want while also protecting the environment,” said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and chief executive officer of ScottsMiracle-Gro. “In order to succeed in this effort, we need the input and support of others. It is in that spirit that our team has worked for months to build partnerships with a network of water protection groups from coast-to-coast and from north-to-south. Our goal is to support their efforts and seek their input, which will be key to making continued progress in our efforts to protect the environment and to empower our consumers do the same.”

In launching its Water Positive Landscapes initiative, the Company also created a dedicated website, www.ScottsMiracleGro.com/WaterPositive.

For years, ScottsMiracle-Gro has worked collaboratively on environmental product innovations such as phosphorus-free lawn fertilizers and educational programming aimed at helping homeowners conserve and protect water resources. The Water Positive Landscapes initiative will engage homeowners across the country in conversations on the creation of outdoor spaces that use less water and also guard against runoff and leaching.

“This strategic partnership with ScottsMiracle-Gro allows us to reach a broader audience and make significant steps forward in our conservation efforts,” said Jeff Benoit, president and chief executive officer at Restore America’s Estuaries, one of the 13 network partners. “Collaborating with experts in the industry under this initiative will streamline efforts in finding long-term solutions to pervasive water conservation and quality issues.”

Each member of the Water Positive National Partner Network is implementing solutions to difficult issues affecting the nation’s most fragile waterways. The organizations in the Water Positive Network include:

  • Alliance for the Great Lakes: The largest organization dedicated solely to protecting and restoring the Great Lakes.  The Alliance works hand-in-hand with tens of thousands of volunteers, advocates, and supporters around the region to pursue protective policies, advance on-the-ground action, and educate our communities. 
  • Restore America’s Estuaries: Through its 10 coastal conservation groups, RAE has restored more than 56,000 acres of coastal habitat across the United States since its inception in 1995.
  • Alliance for Water Efficiency: The leading voice for water efficiency, working with more than 400 member organizations to pursue the efficient and sustainable use of water through research, advocacy, education, and technical assistance.
  • Save Our Water: California’s official statewide water conservation education program is helping millions of Californians permanently reduce their water use, regardless of whether the state is in a drought.
  • The Nature Conservancy: The leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters through a science-based approach that has protected 120 million acres over the past 64 years.
  • National Association of Conservation Districts: Representing the 3,000 local government conservation districts across the U.S., the Association’s 17,000 board members and staff are working with millions of cooperating landowners to protect land and water resources.
  • Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay: With staff in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay leads local action to restore and protect the lands, rivers, and streams of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
  • Tampa Bay Watch: Throughout its environmental restoration and educational programming, Tampa Bay Watch utilizes thousands of volunteers, including schoolchildren, to help Tampa Bay recover from environmental stresses in order to preserve the bay’s ecological balance.
  • ORCA - the Ocean Research Conservation Association: Its renowned team of engineers, research scientists and marine biologists is focused on developing innovative technologies to protect and restore aquatic ecosystems and the species they sustain.
  • Galveston Bay Foundation:  Has worked for nearly 30 years to preserve, protect, and enhance the Galveston Bay estuary and tributaries for future generations through advocacy, conservation, education and research.
  • Council for Watershed Health: Founded by environmental leader Dorothy Green, CWH has worked for 20 years to advance the health and sustainability of the Los Angeles Region's watersheds through science-based research, education and inclusive engagement with public and private stakeholders serving the 10 million residents of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel River watersheds.
  • New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund: Since 1993 the group has worked to educate, engage, and empower New Yorkers to be effective advocates on behalf of the environment.
  • Ohio Environmental Council: The state’s most comprehensive, effective and respected environmental advocate for a healthier, more sustainable Ohio.

Over the next four years, ScottsMiracle-Gro will support the programming of these organizations to protect the Great Lakes, Long Island Sound, Chesapeake Bay, coastal Florida and Gulf of Mexico as well as conserve water in states such as drought-stricken California. Program activities will range from helping landowners manage their properties to benefit local waterways, to supporting water-friendly public policy.

These organizations will also provide ongoing feedback and direction for the Water Positive Landscapes initiative, including helping the Company better understand and respond to evolving water issues through its consumer education, partner relationships and product development.

“Whether it’s a vegetable garden or simple backyard, outdoor spaces are personal expressions for homeowners,” said Mark Slavens, ScottsMiracle-Gro Vice President of Environmental Affairs. “There are simple steps that every homeowner can take to make their own piece of the Earth more Water Positive, from using adapted plants to installing a water containment system to using water-saving lawn care products. Everyone can use water responsibly to maintain lawns and gardens with a purpose.”

“We are proud to support the outstanding work of each of our partners and look forward to building an open dialogue that helps all of us work together to protect and enhance the planet’s most important natural resource.”

For more information, please visit www.ScottsMiracleGro.com/WaterPositive.

About ScottsMiracle-Gro

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is passionate about helping people of all ages express themselves on their own piece of the Earth.  With approximately $3 billion in sales, the Company is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company's brands are the most recognized in the industry. In 2016, the Company ranked on Forbes 100 Most Reputable Companies in America for the second year in a row.  To learn more about the Company’s commitment to water resources, visit www.ScottsMiracleGro.com/WaterPositive.

For media inquiries:

Molly Jennings
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
Molly.Jennings@Scotts.com
561-681-7683

Amanda McGuire
Zeno Group for The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
Amanda.Mcguire@Zenogroup.com
312-755-5467