Southern Company, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation award 2004 grants to conservation organizations

ATLANTA – Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest energy producers, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced that 11 grants under its Power of Flight and Longleaf Legacy partnership programs have been awarded for 2004.

The grants go to conservation organizations and natural resource agencies committed to conserving birds and their habitats, as well as restoring the longleaf pine ecosystem. Seven were awarded under the Power of Flight bird habitat conservation partnership and four grants under the Longleaf Legacy carbon sequestration, longleaf pine restoration partnership. Both conservation initiatives will 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. “We understand our responsibility to enhance and sustain our natural environment,” said Charles Goodman, senior vice president of research and environmental policy for Southern Company. “As we continue to make environmental improvements in the communities where we serve, we look forward to working with these grantees this year on critical conservation projects that will ultimately prove beneficial for years to come.”

“These 11 grants will provide funding to leading conservation organizations and agencies working to restore some of the South’s most important species, including the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker,” said John Berry, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s executive director. “In addition, more than 1,100 acres of longleaf pine forests will be restored, which will benefit bobwhite quail and hundreds of other species, as well as provide recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.”

The Power of Flight program, launched in August 2002, focuses on bird habitat conservation and education efforts beneficial to some of the South’s most threatened and endangered or declining bird species. Southern Company provides $250,000 annually to the program with matching funds from NFWF and grantees, providing an impact of at least $1 million annually. The company also donates $50,000 to support NFWF’s bird conservation programs.

The Longleaf Legacy program, which began in August 2003, is a five-year program focused on restoring the South’s signature longleaf pine ecosystem to conserve biological diversity and sequester carbon. Southern Company contributes $500,000 annually to the program, also with matching funds from NFWF and grantees, resulting in an annual impact of at least $1.5 million. The company also donates $100,000 to support NFWF’s longleaf restoration efforts.

The following organizations have been awarded Power of Flight grants this year to implement conservation initiatives:

• Georgia Department of Natural Resources/State Parks – To create a 50-acre wetland area for birds and other wetland species at Panola Mountain State Park, near Atlanta.

• Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge – To create a 1,500-foot walking trail with boardwalks and educational exhibits.

• Alabama Wildlife Rehabilitation Center – To expand dissemination of tools and a new technique that uses audio tapes to reunite parent raptors with their young that have been displaced from the nest, thereby reducing long-term caseloads for rehabilitation centers.

• Mississippi Wildlife Federation – To train 20 volunteers that will teach citizens the importance of habitat in the Pascagoula River Watershed by using educational materials, such as a traveling Pascagoula River exhibit.

• Tall Timbers Research Station – To assist with on-the-ground recovery and management of red-cockaded woodpecker populations.

• Wildlife Management Institute – To launch an East Gulf Joint Venture partnership consisting of 19 organizations that will develop science-based, landscape-scale, mapping and decision support tools to improve longleaf pine ecosystems for birds throughout the East Gulf Coastal Plain.

• National Audubon Society – To enhance or establish long-term bird conservation efforts for the region’s threatened and declining beach-nesting birds on the Gulf Coast from western Florida to coastal Mississippi.

The following organizations have been awarded Longleaf Legacy grants this year to implement conservation initiatives:

• The Nature Conservancy of Alabama – To reforest 185 acres of mountain longleaf pine habitat on the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge.

• Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR)/State Parks – To restore the longleaf pine ecosystem on 254 acres of DNR managed land.

• The Nature Conservancy of Florida – To restore 254 acres of longleaf pine/wire grass habitat on three Nature Conservancy preserves located in the Florida panhandle.

• Longleaf Alliance – To encourage ecological restoration and carbon sequestration through the planting of longleaf pine trees on at least 500 private acres.

For more information on The Power of Flight and Longleaf Legacy programs, please go to

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the conservation of fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats by attracting diverse investments, encouraging public and private collaboration, and funding the stewardship of natural resources. The Foundation supports and invests in the best possible solutions for wildlife conservation through creative, diverse, and respectful partnerships. For more information, please visit

With more than 4 million customers and nearly 39,000 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, an energy services business 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 named three consecutive years No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s “America’s Most Admired Companies” list in the Electric and Gas Utility industry. Southern Company has been ranked the nation’s top energy utility in the American Customer Satisfaction Index four years in a row, and in the latest survey tied for the highest score among all service industry companies. 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

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