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November 27, 2013

The Virginia Museum of Natural History has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Dominion Foundation for the “Transforming Watershed Education” program beginning in 2014.  The grant will provide $10,000 in support of the “Living on the Water” exhibit opening July 26, 2014, with the additional $10,000 to support museum outreach education programs to students in the Tidewater and Central Virginia regions.

“We are honored to be partnering with the Dominion Foundation as we develop the ‘Living on the Water’ exhibit and accompanying statewide education programs,” said Ryan Barber, deputy director of VMNH.  “As the Commonwealth’s museum of natural history, we look forward to reaching thousands of additional students and their families.”

The "Living on the Water" exhibit is being developed by VMNH scientists, educators and exhibit staff in partnership with the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, as well as other statewide and regional natural resource and conservation partners. The exhibit will highlight life on the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia's tidal waters from pre-history to today, and will be on display at the Virginia Museum of Natural History from July 2014 to April 2015.  The exhibit will then be traveled to multiple locations throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.

            “Water is truly a significant and perhaps underappreciated resource, whether it is marine or freshwater," said Dr. Joe Keiper, executive director of the museum.  "We hope that our 'Transforming Watershed Education' initiative brings to light how fortunate we are to have these precious resources, as well as the need to steward them thoughtfully.”

In addition to providing support for the development of the “Living on the Water” exhibit, the Dominion Foundation grant will provide funding for school group outreach education programs that will provide SOL-based programs to students in the Tidewater and Central Virginia regions.

"Watersheds and water quality education is an essential part of what’s being taught in classrooms all across Virginia," said Dr. Denny Casey, director of education and public programs at VMNH. "With this support, we will be able to provide more meaningful watershed educational experiences that address the Virginia Standards of Learning in new and engaging ways."

In addition to support from the Dominion Foundation, the museum has also received recent support from Bassett Furniture Industries, Boxley Materials Company, Davenport Energy, George and Jean Adams, the Marjorie Sutton Memorial Fund, and the Norfolk Southern Foundation.  For information about partnering with the VMNH Foundation to support museum programs, please visit www.vmnh.net/donate-now.

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