For release on: April 5, 2012

For more information contact:

Kim Ferraro, Hoosier Environmental Council – kferraro@hecweb.org or 219-464-0104

Ryan Puckett, two21 LLC – media@hecweb.org or 317-721-7221

HEC and Aveda Champion Clean Water Initiatives During Earth Month

New informational website encourages Hoosiers to become “Water Warriors”

INDIANAPOLIS – At restaurants all over America, patrons tell their servers, “I’ll just have water.” Whether it’s used for bathing, cooking or drinking, clean water is often taken for granted. To raise awareness about water pollution challenges in Indiana and around the world, Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) and Indiana Aveda salons are encouraging Hoosiers to become “Water Warriors” by visiting HoosierWaterWarrior.org.

The new microsite features facts about Indiana’s rivers, lakes and streams, as well as clean water tips and links to events benefitting clean water initiatives. For the third year in a row, Aveda is supporting HEC’s efforts to protect and clean Indiana’s waterways with activities and promotions at its salons throughout the state during Earth Month.

Nearly 1,000 waterways in the Hoosier state are polluted with toxins from sources such as agricultural animal waste, coal ash runoff and excess phosphorous from residential lawn fertilizers. HEC Water and Agriculture Policy Director Kim Ferraro encourages Hoosiers to help clean up Indiana’s waterways by becoming a “Water Warrior” and testing areas that are designated as polluted (“impaired”) by Indiana state government.

“Unsafe levels of E. coli can be found in 979 Indiana lakes, rivers and streams making these bodies of water unfit for recreational activity such as swimming, boating and fishing,” noted Ferraro.

Raising water awareness depends not only on environmental advocates but green-minded citizens as well. Amber Espareno, a team leader at the Aveda Keystone Crossing Experience Center, has worked tirelessly to educate her staff and Aveda guests on the work HEC does for water in Indiana. As a reward for her fundraising efforts, Aveda sent Espareno to India in 2010 for an 11-day trip to visit the company’s birthplace and to witness first-hand the challenges of accessing clean water.

“People usually don’t know where we get our water or what’s in our water,” said Espareno. “In working with HEC and after my trip to India, I have a deeper appreciation for our global and local environmental challenges, especially with regards to water quality.”

In addition to the efforts at Aveda salons, a number of restaurants will be asking their patrons to “Drink for a Cause” by donating $1 for their glass of water during select dates in April. The donations will benefit HEC’s clean water initiatives. Participating restaurants in Indianapolis include R Bistro, Union Jack Pub, Sahm’s Place, Earth House Collective, Recess and Bistro 501 in Lafayette.

For more information visit HoosierWaterWarrior.org.

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