As part of its commitment to maintaining healthy ecosystems that foster recreation and youth participation in sport, NHL Green has introduced Gallons for Goals™, a season long commitment focusing on the issue of freshwater scarcity. The National Hockey League Foundation (NHLF) has pledged to restore 1,000 gallons of water to the Deschutes River in Oregon for every goal scored during the 2011-12 regular season.
The Foundation will support the Bonneville Environmental Foundation’s (BEF) Water Restoration Certificate Program to help restore streamflow to Deschutes River. A tributary to the Columbia River, the river is a scenic gem with the potential to support world class recreation and functioning aquatic ecosystems. Today, however, the region is plagued by disruptions in stream flow which have degraded habitats, resulting in poor water quality and a decline in the overall health of the river.
“Water is in the DNA of the NHL,” said Bernadette Mansur, Senior Vice President NHL Green and Executive Director of the NHL Foundation. “Many of our players grow up skating on frozen ponds. Freshwater scarcity affects their opportunity to learn and play the game outdoors.”
“The NHL is taking an extraordinary step to raise awareness among its enormous fan base about the freshwater crisis,” said Todd Reeve, Chief Executive Officer at BEF. “This presents an unprecedented opportunity to engage fans, encourage conservation and make a meaningful difference to a critically dewatered ecosystem.”
So far, the initiative has provided 3,674,000 gallons of water to the Deschutes (for the 3,674 goals scored by NHL teams during the 2011-12 season).
More Water Goals
The NHL Foundation hopes Gallons for Goals will raise consciousness about water scarcity issues overall and encourage water conservation by fans, players, and its teams across North America.
The NHL also is working to reduce water consumption in team facilities. The League has developed and implemented NHL Metrics, an online tool designed for all 30 teams’ venues to track and analyze data specific to waste output, energy usage, and water consumption. NHL Metrics encourages a behavioral change in NHL venues across North America, reducing hockey’s environmental impact by increasing awareness of the resources used and the financial costs incurred.
The 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic in Philadelphia marked the first ever water balanced Winter Classic in League history. Last season, the NHL restored the water footprint associated with the 2011 Stanley Cup Final by tracking consumption at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena and Boston’s TD Garden throughout the seven game series.