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Elizabeth River Project Opens Research Lab with PRA Group-Sponsored Sustainable Water Supply

NORFOLK, Va., May 30, 2024 – Sheltered beneath the Elizabeth River Project’s newly opened Pru & Louis Ryan Resilience Lab are two massive water cisterns, each of which hold approximately 5,000 gallons of water, or the equivalent of a football field filled with bathtubs. The cisterns are sponsored by PRA Group.  

Recently named a River Star Business, PRA Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: PRAA) is a publicly traded global leader in acquiring and collecting nonperforming loans, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, where the Elizabeth River Project is based.  

PRA Group colleagues alongside Elizabeth River Project leaders at the Ryan Resilience Lab opening events.

“One of the first of its kind worldwide, the Ryan Resilience Lab signals an enormous achievement as the Elizabeth River Project strives to lead the way to a more sustainable future,” said Giovanna Genard, vice president of global communications and external affairs for PRA Group. “Through PRA Group’s philanthropic initiatives, we are proud to support the restoration and health of local waterways.” 

The three-story 6,500-square-foot facility is equipped with solar panels, a public boardwalk, another dedicated to research, art and sculpture contributions from local university students, and more—all of which is on display to help the public understand how to navigate the impact of and take action to combat rising sea levels and environmental change. 

PRA Group’s water cisterns help address these issues head-on by allowing the facility to collect and recycle rainwater, collected directly from the lab’s green roof. The cisterns’ contents provide the lab’s non-potable water, which is dyed blue with a plant-based dye in accordance with the city code for rainwater. All the water that moves through the cisterns is ultraviolet-filtered onsite. If the cisterns are empty when a flood hits, bolts anchor them deep into the ground to protect the building and safety of the surrounding community.  

“We chose a site in the floodplain in order to showcase creative solutions,” reflected Marjorie Mayfield Jackson, the Elizabeth River Project’s executive director. “In doing so, we aimed to select flood-resilient solutions that would be accessible to people who come to visit us, so they can learn about and implement some of the same features within their own homes and businesses. We are excited to see this change the way people think about living on the Elizabeth River, and we’re grateful to the many sponsors like PRA Group who have made our dream possible.” 

The nonprofit has been a key player in restoring the Elizabeth River, which was wracked with pollution and a lack of wildlife by the 1990s. Its dedication to educating the community is no small part of that effort. 

Visit the lab and its water cisterns on a tour:  

About PRA Group

As a global leader in acquiring and collecting nonperforming loans, PRA Group, Inc. returns capital to banks and other creditors to help expand financial services for consumers in the Americas, Europe and Australia. With thousands of employees worldwide, PRA Group companies collaborate with customers to help them resolve their debt. For more information, please visit

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