The National Hydropower Association (NHA) recognized six hydropower operators for their roles as exceptional river stewards.Washington D.C. – April 9, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] NHA’s fifth annual “Outstanding Stewardship of America’s Rivers” (OSAR) report, showcases hydro companies who excel in habitat enhancement, environmental restoration, recreational improvement, mitigation and fish passage. “The 2003 Outstanding Stewardship of America’s Rivers winners exemplify the hydro industry’s success in balancing power generation with environmental stewardship and recreational enhancement,” said NHA president John Suloway. “Through their work, these stewards demonstrate continued management of hydro energy projects that provide power and non-power benefits to all river users.” Common to all of this year’s OSAR winners is the collaboration among state and local agencies, as well as other river stakeholders. This collaboration allows all stakeholders to play an important role in determining how best to use the river. A six-member judging committee comprised of two environmental representatives, three industry representatives and the managing editor of Hydro Review magazine evaluated the nominations. Projects had to demonstrate significant environmental accomplishments beyond providing clean and renewable power. They were evaluated on challenge, collaboration, innovation and results. Duke Energy was honored for its work along the Jocassee Gorges area in North Carolina and South Carolina. The company worked to protect more than 45 miles of fish trout streams and numerous smaller tributaries, all of which are open to the public. “Duke Energy strives to be a good steward of natural resources,” said Jim Hendricks, senior vice president of corporate responsibility. “We also work to build lasting, productive relationships that help us in that stewardship role.” In addition to Duke Energy, other companies honored were: – Avista Corp’s Clark Fork Project on the Clark Fork River in Montana and Idaho; – Ontario Power Generation’s Madawaska River Hydroelectric Project on the Madawaska River in Ontario, Canada; – Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s Mokelumne River Project on the Mokelumne River in California; and its Rock Creek-Cresta Project on the North Fork Feather River in California; – Seattle City Light’s Skagit River Hydroelectric Project on the Skagit River in Washington; and – Tacoma Power’s Nisqually River Project on the Nisqually River in Washington.