ScottsMiracle-Gro Foundation Leads in Tackling Water Challenges at National Meeting

By Carol Kauffman Nowlin, Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation convened its national network of environmental grantees in Oyster Bay, Long Island, last week with one goal: Addressing America’s toughest water resource challenges. Dr. Christopher Gobler, head of the Gobler Laboratory at SUNY Stony Brook, presented the keynote address on his research exploring the causes and effects of harmful algal blooms, as well as potential solutions.

Driven by excess nutrients in water, such as phosphorus, harmful algal blooms now pose a national crisis. They threaten public drinking water, choke vegetation, and poison shellfish. Outbreaks have occurred in every U.S. state and are endemic in coastal areas, including Long Island. The recent Water Positive docuseries, sponsored by the Foundation, featured Dr. Gobler’s work in its Long Island video.

Watch: Helping Restore Our Local Heritage on Long Island


Meeting participants visited a local coastal restoration site to see project work in action.

During the day-long meeting, leaders and scientists from 12 national and regional environmental organizations presented their work on a range of topics. These included

  • Using hands-on education to teach schoolchildren about their water resources
  • Capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in natural wetlands using the Blue Carbon model
  • Protecting the EPA WaterSense certification program from elimination in the Federal budget
  • Leveraging the academic and private sectors to innovate phosphorus removal from fresh water


Educator Karen Mossey of the North Shore Land Alliance demonstrates building an aquifer model to teach school children about where their water comes from.

Attendee Stefanie Simpson, Blue Carbon Program Senior Manager for Restore America’s Estuaries, stated, “Scott’s National Partner Network meeting was a great opportunity to learn from other organizations who are dealing with water quality and water quantity problems. Hearing from others about their efforts and how it complements what we are doing was incredibly motivating.”

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company removed phosphorus from its lawn food maintenance products in 2013 and renewed its commitment to introduce more slow-release nitrogen into fertilizers. Since that time, the Company and its Foundation have continued to lead in tackling water quality issues nationwide. In 2016 we established the National Partner Network representing more than a dozen environmental organizations working in concert to protect Americans’ access to safe water.

Learn more about the Foundation’s National Partner Network here.


Representatives of twelve organizations from eight states and the District of Columbia gathered together for the National Partner Network meeting on Long Island.