Oysters aplenty: Rockwell Collins Green Communities grant gives mollusks new home

Green Communities 2016 Winners

Rockwell Collins employees in Melbourne, Florida, helped by Green Communities funds, made oyster mats, providing tools and deploying mats to create an area now known as the “Rockwell Reef.” Enlarge image)

Program awards latest round; has given nearly $900,000 in grants since 2004

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida (April 22, 2016) – “All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster's autobiography.” - Federico Fellini

If Fellini is to be believed, the folks in Brevard County, Florida, have created a whole library of oyster autobiographies with their Community Based Oyster Reef Restoration and Monitoring project. The effort was a project that has benefitted from the Rockwell Collins Green Communities grants, an annual program that funds projects that improve the environment in communities where Rockwell Collins operates.

Joe Strenecky, senior mechanical designer at the Rockwell Collins facility in Melbourne, Florida, has helped champion the project for the Green Communities grant.

Strenecky said the oyster restoration effort is helping the lagoon system by providing surface area for new oysters to attach and grow. Once the oysters grow they will filter up to 50 gallons of water each day which in turn cleans the water for a healthy estuary.

“Rockwell Collins has been helping the Brevard Zoo for many years by making oyster mats, providing tools and deploying mats to create an area now known as Rockwell Reef. This effort has given multiple employees multiple chances to help the zoo and help the Indian River Lagoon,” said Strenecky.  

This year’s winners were announced by Rockwell Collins today. Grants were awarded by a review committee based on criteria including:

  • Tangible environmental benefits of the project
  • Sustainability of the project benefits
  • Participation in the project by Rockwell Collins employees and/or retirees
  • Completion of the project within the calendar year of the grant award
  • Agreement to participate in publicizing the grant and the completed project

Since 2004, the company has awarded more than 488 grants valued at $891,895 through the program, ranging from $500 to $2,500. This year’s grant recipients include:

$4,000 award

Brigade du Tarn, Rabastens, France, Cleaning the Tarn Banks around the Rabastens.

$3,000 award

West Chiltington Friends of the School Association, Pulborough, U.K., West Chiltington Community School Environment Area.

$2,500 awards

Animal Welfare Foundation of Iowa, Anamosa, Iowa, Shelter Construction.

City of Canton, Minnesota, Sustainable Community Butterfly Garden and LED-efficient Light Bulbs at City Hall.

City of Mabel, Minnesota, Lighting Efficiency Program.

Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Wilsonville, Oregon, Beekeeping.

East Coast Zoological Society, Melbourne, Florida, Water Bottle Refill Stations.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida, Rainwater Harvesting Garden.

Feed Iowa First, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Feed Iowa First Support.

Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida, The Living Dock.

Friends of the Sea Lion, Laguna Beach, California, Marine Mammal Rehabilitation: Treatment and Care.

Indian Creek Nature Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Urban Trees and Shrubs: Your Native Edible Buffer and Creating a Rain Garden.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines, Iowa, Project AWARE (A Watershed Awareness River Expedition).

Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Maquoketa, Iowa, Removal of Invasive Honeysuckle.

Jones County Historical Society, Monticello, Iowa, Renewable Energy Project.

PA CleanWays of Allegheny County, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, The Tireless Project.

Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center and Metro Catholic Outreach Center, Hiawatha, Iowa, Increasing Access to Healthy Foods for Low-Income Families.

Sea Turtle Conservancy, Gainesville, Florida, Tour de Turtles Migration Marathon Education Program.

Sustainable Independence, Brandon, Iowa, Donate Solar Power to Our School.

The Nature Conservancy, Des Moines, Iowa, Restoring Wetlands Upstream from Cedar Rapids.

Winneshiek County Conservation Board, Fort Atkinson, Iowa, Apples, Acorns, and Interpretative Panels.

$2,350 award

Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department, Iowa City, Iowa, Children’s Discovery Garden Wall.

$2,100 award

Wasatch Community Gardens, Salt Lake City, Utah, Picnic Lunch Project.

$2,000 award

Orange County Coastkeeper, Costa Mesa, California, Cleanup OC.

$1,850 award

Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Solon, Iowa, Lake Macbride Watershed Improvement.

$1,600 awards

Anamosa Parks and Recreation Department, Anamosa, Iowa, Arboretum.

Bur Oak Land Trust, Iowa City, Iowa, Habitat Restoration and Conservation in East-Central Iowa.

Keystone Adventure School and Farm, Inc., Edmond, Oklahoma, Recreating the Cross Timbers Forest.

$1,500 awards

Brevard Schools Foundation, Melbourne, Florida, Rainwater Harvesting for Irrigation.

Matthew 25, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Cultivate Hope.

Recycling Advocates, Portland, Oregon, BYO Cup.

Trees Forever, Marion, Iowa, TreeKeepers.

YMCA of the Cedar Rapids Area (Camp Wapsie), Coggon, Iowa, Environmental Improvements Project.

$1,400 awards

Daily Bread, Inc., Melbourne, Florida, Community Garden.

St. Pius X Early Learning Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Growing in the Garden.

$1,000 awards

Chesapeake Baysavers Foundation, Inc., Annapolis, Maryland, Living Shorelines Project.

San Bernardino Mountains Wildlife Society, Lake Arrowhead, California, Wildhaven Ranch Aquaponics Project: Phase 2.

$900 award

Mabel-Canton Public Schools, Mabel, Minnesota, Mabel-Canton Picnic Area Establishment.

$700 award

Keep Garland Beautiful, Garland, Texas, Monarch Butterfly Garden.

$500 award

Olivet Neighborhood Mission, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Community Gardens.  

About Rockwell Collins

Rockwell Collins is a pioneer in the development and deployment of innovative aviation and high-integrity solutions for both commercial and government applications. Our expertise in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, mission communications, simulation and training, and information management is delivered by a global workforce, and a service and support network that crosses more than 150 countries. To find out more, please visit www.rockwellcollins.com.

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