Southern Company, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation continue to award grants to support conservation programs in the Southeast
Tuesday, December 20, 2005, ATLANTA – Southern Company and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation today announced that seven additional grants under its Power of Flight and Longleaf Legacy partnership programs have been awarded to conservation organizations and natural resource agencies.
“The conservation projects that we’ve helped to fund across our service territory have yielded some substantial results for Southern birds and their habitat,” said Chris Hobson, senior vice president of research and environmental affairs for Southern Company. “Our efforts will continue to conserve a part of the South that is very special to Southern Company and its operating companies.”
For more than two years, Southern Company and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation have partnered to award 48 grants resulting in a commitment of more than $2.6 million. With matching dollars from grant recipients totaling more than $4.2 million, there has been an on-the-ground conservation impact of nearly $7 million since the partnership began.
“These six projects, funded through a public/private partnership, will benefit endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers, declining migratory birds, and the threatened longleaf pine ecosystem,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. “In addition, thousands of youth and adults will learn more about the value of the South’s natural resources, which complements our goal of helping critical species, plants and habitats, while promoting stewardship. Our thanks go to Southern Company for their continued support of good conservation.”
The Power of Flight program is the largest public/private funding effort for bird conservation in the South. The following four organizations were recently awarded Power of Flight grants:
• US Fish and Wildlife Service – This project, now in its third year, is accelerating translocation efforts for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. Funds support the monitoring of clusters, or families, of woodpeckers on the Apalachicola National Forest in Florida to identify potential donor offspring to translocate to select locations in the Southeast where populations need to be increased to meet recovery goals for this species.
• Council for Environmental Education – To establish a network of partners in select Southeastern cities to teach primarily urban youth about migratory birds through the Flying WILD migratory bird education program.
• University of Southern Mississippi – Scientists will use weather radar, which can detect flocks of migratory birds, to map where they rest and feed during migration. The goal of this project is to identify areas in the South needing enhanced conservation and management.
• Invasive Species Management, Inc. – To inventory all vertebrate species, native and non-native, that inhabit Horn Island, Mississippi. Research will then be conducted to determine the impact of invasive vertebrates, such as nutria on native bird populations. Results from this project may be used to develop improved bird management plans for the many barrier islands in the Northern Gulf Coast.
The Longleaf Legacy program is focused on restoring the South’s signature longleaf pine ecosystem to conserve biological diversity and sequester carbon. The following three organizations were recently awarded Longleaf Legacy grants:
• Georgia Forestry Commission – To help restore approximately 244 acres of longleaf pine habitat by planting nearly 150,000 longleaf pines seedlings in the Dixon Memorial State Forest, which is adjacent to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. This project will also provide educational and research opportunities on longleaf pine ecosystems for students, landowners, universities, cooperative forestry organizations and the general public.
• Alabama State Parks Division – To restore 200 acres of the Gulf State Park by planting 109,000 pine seedlings to a site with storm-damaged mixed timber. The restoration of the native longleaf pine/wiregrass savannah ecosystem will revitalize native plant and animal species and further the Park’s educational goals. • Mississippi State University – To encourage landowners to re-establish longleaf pine forests on an estimated 705 acres of private properties, providing ecological restoration and carbon sequestration by planting approximately 408,000 seedlings. Conservation initiatives under the Power of Flight and Longleaf Legacy programs focus on areas within the service territories of Southern Company’s five operating companies: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric.
To review individual fact sheets on the Power of Flight and Longleaf Legacy programs or to see a complete listing of awards granted to date, please go to: www.southerncompany.com/planetpower .
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a non-profit organization established by Congress in 1984 and dedicated to the conservation of fish, wildlife and plants, and the habitat on which they depend. The Foundation creates partnerships between the public and private sectors to strategically invest in conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. The Foundation distributed 709 grants in 2004 and has leveraged – with its partners – more than $305 million in federal funds since its establishment, for a total of more than $918 million in on-the-ground conservation. For more information, visit www.nfwf.org. With more than 4 million customers and nearly 40,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier super-regional energy company in the Southeast and a leading U.S. producer of electricity. Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states, a growing competitive generation company and a competitive retail natural gas business, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are 15 percent below the national average. Southern Company has been ranked the nation’s top energy utility in the American Customer Satisfaction Index six years in a row. Southern Company has more than 500,000 shareholders, making its common stock one of the most widely held in the United States. Visit the Southern Company Web site at www.southerncompany.com.
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