Coastal America - NOAA Partnership
Contact: Tim Tomastik


WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary William M. Daley today inaugurated the National Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, a new first-of-its-kind public-private program combining corporate contributions with federal and state funds to restore the nation's environmentally valuable wetlands and other aquatic habitats.

The Gillette Company and the National Association of Manufacturers, founding partners of the program, worked with the federal office of Coastal America to create the National Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership.

The partnership expands a program initiated in Massachusetts last year by Gillette, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The program was extended to all New England states earlier this year.

Secretary Daley said, "Recognizing the value of this unique public-private partnership, Gillette and the National Association of Manufacturers have agreed to take the program nationwide working through the Coastal America Partnership. These efforts epitomize the benefits that can be accomplished through public-private partnerships that bring together our collective resources to meet a common goal."

The Massachusetts Partnership now has 17 corporate partners who have contributed a total of $1 million in funds and in-kind services. One restoration project is already underway in Massachusetts, and several others are in the planning stage.

Bruce Babbitt, secretary of the Department of the Interior, noted that "Our nation has lost half of its wetlands. To reverse these losses, this administration has established an ambitious goal of restoring 100,000 acres of wetlands each year. The new Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership initiative is a significant step in that direction."

Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Joseph Westphal, chair of Coastal America, hailed the expansion of the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership to the national level. "The federal government is committed to working with state agencies, local agencies, tribal governments and local business groups to restore wetland and other aquatic habitats around the country. This Partnership with Coastal America will build upon the efforts initiated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under the leadership of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and The Gillette Company. Wetlands are vital to water supplies and ecological diversity," Secretary Westphal noted.

Michael C. Hawley, chairman and CEO of The Gillette Company, said, "Gillette is proud to lead the National Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership. Gillette has a long-standing commitment to the environment, and now we are taking that commitment beyond our facilities to the states and communities where we operate."

Jerry Jasinowski, president of NAM, said, "The Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership provides a terrific new initiative for companies to work cooperatively with governmental agencies to identify opportunities and pool resources. Together, we can make real improvements to our national wetlands heritage."

Private corporations that participate in the National Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership will donate funds for specific restoration projects, or they may provide funds to a national or regional effort to restore wetlands and other aquatic habitats. Industry contributions will generally be matched by federal funds. The match will vary by project, but on average, every dollar of corporate contribution will bring up to three dollars in federal funds.

All projects that receive partnership funds will be Coastal America approved projects. Coastal America will provide technical assistance to assist in their proper execution.

Types of habitats that will be candidates for partnership funds include wetlands, salt marsh, rivers and streams, lakes and ponds, and coral reefs. Project work may include fill removal, channel clearing and enlarging, dam removal, fish passage construction, and replanting of vegetation.

As National Corporate Chair of the Partnership, Gillette will head the National Corporate Advisory Council, which will set policy and work with the Coastal America Board of Principals. NAM will serve as national sponsor, leading the drive to bring corporations around the country into the new Partnership. (Current corporate partners in the Massachusetts and New England Partnerships are listed below.)

Headquartered in Boston, Mass., The Gillette Company is the world leader in male grooming, a category that includes blades, razors and shaving preparations. Gillette also holds the number one position worldwide in selected female grooming products, such as wet shaving products and hair epilation devices. In addition, the company is the world leader in alkaline batteries, toothbrushes and oral care appliances, and correction products.

The National Association of Manufacturers -- "18 million people who make things in America" – is the nation's largest and oldest multi-industry trade association. The NAM represents 14,000 members (including 10,000 small and mid-sized companies) and 350 member associations serving manufacturers and employees in every industrial sector and all 50 states.

Coastal America is a partnership among federal, state and local governments and private alliances to address environmental problems affecting our nation's coasts, waterways and wetlands. The federal partners are: the Departments of Agriculture, Air Force, Army, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Navy, Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency; and The Executive Office of the President.