MARYSVILLE, Ohio, Jan. 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation today announced a creative collaboration with Andy Mann, a globally acclaimed environmental photographer. Mann will document U.S. watersheds affected by harmful algal blooms, bringing to life how this pervasive global crisis is affecting communities across the United States.
Driven by excess phosphorus, harmful algal blooms pollute fresh waterways in all 50 states. Over the last decade, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company has taken action to prevent local nutrient pollution from lawn and garden activity by removing phosphorus from its traditional lawn fertilizer products sold under the Scotts® brand. The move has reduced consumer use of phosphorus by 10,000 tons each year. Unfortunately, more than 10 million metric tons of phosphorus continue flowing into freshwater from other sources. Demonstrating its ongoing commitment to this issue, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation has established a national Water Positive™ initiative dedicated to protecting freshwater in key regions and uniting citizens, scientists, and communities in finding a lasting solution for excess phosphorus.
“Our company is proud of everything we’ve done to protect water resources, but we also know that algae blooms represent an under-recognized global crisis,” said Jim King, chairman of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation. “The goal of our Foundation related to this issue is two-fold – to create more public awareness about this crisis and to fund the efforts of environmental partners across the country who are trying to solve it.”
“Our partnership with Andy Mann will certainly shine a spotlight on this issue. His photography is nothing short of breathtaking and he is one of the few people in the world capable of capturing images that depict the beauty of nature while simultaneously showing the damage being inflected on the environment from algae pollution. I’m confident that his work will capture this issue in ways that greatly enhance awareness for millions of people,” said King.
Mann has captured stories from key watersheds affected by algal blooms, including the Florida Everglades, Lake Erie, Chesapeake Bay and the Long Island Sound. He will share the culmination of his work through a photo and video docuseries to be revealed on World Water Day in March 2018.
“Each watershed tells a story in conflict,” said Mann. “It has been disheartening, for example, to document the story of Lake Erie, which has been infested with toxic green algal blooms to the point that it has tainted the drinking water for millions of people. But it has been encouraging that in the same communities impacted by this crisis you’ll find local scientists who are researching and testing new technologies that instill hope. Those are the stories that we want to tell to inspire change.”
The creative collaboration with Mann will also focus on The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation’s multi-year sponsorship of the Everglades Foundation’s George Barley Water Prize, the world’s largest water prize. This prize competition, now in its third stage, awards $10 million to the person or team developing the most cost-effective, scalable technology to remove phosphorus – the root cause of toxic algal blooms – from freshwater sources.
“We want to raise awareness of freshwater issues, but more importantly we want to showcase the inspiring and innovative work being done across the world to improve water quality,” said King.
About The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to inspire, connect and cultivate communities of purpose in the areas of environmental improvement, youth empowerment, and community gardens and greenspaces. The Foundation carries out its mission by funding qualifying charitable entities that support its core initiatives in the form of grants, endowments, and multi-year capital gifts. The Foundation is deeply rooted in preserving our planet, empowering the next generation, and helping create healthier communities. For more information, visit www.scottsmiraclegrofoundation.org.
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