Grants to support conservation efforts in Northwest Florida
Reflecting its historical commitment to honor natural resource conservation projects focused on protecting wetlands and streams in and around the areas it serves, Gulf Power and its parent, Southern Company, awarded grants to 64 organizations nationwide as part of the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration program. The grants are made possible through a partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and other public and private partnerships.
The $2.3 million in grants will help protect wetlands and habitats across Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. One project includes the restoration of the Choctawhatchee Basin Watershed, a 3.4 million-acre ecosystem that stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pea River in Alabama.
In Florida, the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) will engage 3,000 K-12 students in Okaloosa and Walton school districts through its hands-on science education programs.
After receiving educational lessons throughout the school year, students will replant 1.2 acres of salt marsh habitat and restore 1.3 acres of dune habitat. Students in both programs will produce educational tools that will reach at least 310,000 citizens. Partners include Okaloosa County Schools, Walton County Schools, the Dugas Family Foundation, Northwest Florida Water Management District and Live Oak Production Company.
The 2015 program funding directly supports 12 habitat-restoration projects within the Southern Company system service area, helping to restore more than 83 acres and 750 feet of streambank in the southeast region.
“Gulf Power has a history of developing innovative partnerships to make a meaningful difference in the communities we serve,” said Gulf Power Media Relations supervisor Rick DelaHaya. “This commitment, shared with our Southern Company partners, leverages and expands public and private resources that deliver the value of consistent environmental stewardship.”
The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grants come on the heels of the Longleaf Stewardship grants announced in June. The Gulf Power-supported grants gave a much-needed financial boost to establish and enhance more than 173,000 acres of longleaf pine throughout Southern Company’s and Gulf Power’s service territory.
Gulf Power is an investor-owned electric utility with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 447,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely provide exceptional customer value by delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity while strengthening our communities. Visit online at MyGulfPower.com or on the company’s Facebook page. News information can be found at GulfPowerNews.com.
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