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CLC Awarded $50k from Duke Energy to Protect Waxhaw Creek

Seed grant will protect water quality and endangered wildlife in Waxhaw Creek watershed 


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Catawba Lands Conservancy (CLC) announced a $50,000 investment from Duke Energy’s Water Resources Fund that will be used to expand land conservation projects along Waxhaw Creek in Union County, North Carolina.

The tributary is a high priority for CLC’s conservation efforts because of its wildlife habitat and impact on the water quality of the Catawba River downstream. A 12-mile stretch of Waxhaw Creek serves as a critical habitat for a federally endangered freshwater mussel, the Carolina heelsplitter. Additionally, protecting land along Waxhaw Creek in Union County helps filter and clean the water before it enters the Catawba River, a major source of drinking water.

“The Charlotte region is one of the fastest growing areas in the country and the Conservancy is very focused on the challenges that development places on our water supply,” said Tom Okel, executive director of CLC.

“Watershed management and land conservation are some of the most effective and economical steps we can take today to ensure an adequate supply of clean water tomorrow.  We are very excited to be one of the first organizations to participate in this innovative new program that will benefit our region’s quality of life.”

CLC began conservation work in the Waxhaw Creek area last year. With support from the Duke Energy Foundation, it purchased 152 acres of land along the creek that was originally slated for residential development. The Waxhaw Creek Preserve is now permanently protected and in the future will be open to the public though a planned segment of the Carolina Thread Trail. The recent $50,000 seed grant continues the momentum started in 2013 to conserve sensitive lands along a critical waterway.

“Our new Water Resources Fund allows us to expand our support for waterways in the Carolinas. This $10 million fund promotes the good work of groups like the Catawba Lands Conservancy. We believe the fund will have a great impact in protecting and enhancing our natural resources,” said Stick Williams, president, Duke Energy Foundation.

This project is made possible through Duke Energy’s $10 million Water Resources Fund to benefit waterways in the Carolinas. For more information about the fund, visit

About Catawba Lands Conservancy
Catawba Lands Conservancy is a nonprofit conservation organization that permanently preserves nearly 15,000 acres of wetlands, forests, prairies and farmlands in the Southern Piedmont of North Carolina. It is dedicated to saving land and connecting lives to nature. One of 24 land trusts in North Carolina, CLC serves Catawba, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg and Union counties.

CLC is committed to improving the quality of life in the communities it serves by protecting water, wildlife habitats, farmland and green spaces for public benefit. CLC is also the lead agency for the Carolina Thread Trail, a regional trail initiative focused on linking more than two million citizens in 15 counties in North and South Carolina. More information is available at:

About Duke Energy
Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with approximately $115 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.2 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest.

The Duke Energy Foundation actively works to improve the quality of life in its communities, lending expertise in the form of leadership and philanthropic support to charitable organizations. Duke Energy has long been committed to building and supporting the communities in which its customers and employees live and work. More information is available at

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: