NEW YORK -- 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 a critically dewatered river 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 Oregon's Deschutes River. The watercourse 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 that 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 Foundation expects Gallons for Goals to raise consciousness about water scarcity issues and encourage water conservation by fans, players and its teams across North America. Fans can track the initiative's progress on NHL.com/green.
"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."
The NHL also is working to actively 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. The League replenished more than 1 million gallons of water to dewatered sections of the Deschutes River.