Duke Energy's "philanthropy" geared towards area beautification, not watershed protection:
The foundation is particularly interested in receiving applications from economic development programs that would enhance “community beautification and maintenance with a measurable impact on increasing tourism, business and population growth within the county.”
In the environmental category, RCCF seeks programs “that have a visible impact on the local community, such as outdoor classrooms or environmental signage along trails, (and) walkways along the river.”
While this $10 million from Duke Energy was a voluntary donation and had no regulatory requirements attached, the "visible impact" qualifier for use of these funds makes it part of their wider public relations efforts. Most of the real work that is done safeguarding and enhancing water quality is not visible to the average passerby, but it's much more important than streetscaping or posting a sign by a trail.