Alabama Power announces Five Star wetland restoration grants



BIRMINGHAM – Alabama Power, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Association of Counties and Wildlife Habitat Council announce that wetland, riparian and coastal conservation grants have been awarded through the Five Star Restoration Program in the Birmingham area.

Five Star program grants of $35,600, matched by project partner contributions, total $71,200 to be used to restore wetland acreage and riparian buffer lands in Birmingham as part of a national effort.

The restoration of impaired stream and wetland area projects in Alabama will include:

·         In the Pinson area, the Freshwater Land Trust will remove approximately 1.5 acres of invasive Chinese privet from Tapawingo Springs, a former thriving wetland and bottomland ecosystem, and re-plant the area with approximately 1,500 native bottomland species and flowering plants.  The goal is to create a haven not only for the watercress darter but also for songbirds and other wildlife.  Partners include the Whole Foods Team Leadership Program; Society to Advance Resources at Turkey Creek (START); Pinson Boy Scouts of America; the Freshwater Land Trust Land Steward; Southern Environmental Center; Turkey Creek Nature Preserve; and Samford University and Birmingham-Southern College biology departments.

·         In Birmingham, the Freshwater Land Trust will construct and maintain a trail system along 2.4 acres of the Village Creek headwaters that will enhance the wetland by removing silt and pollution from surface water runoff. Invasive plants, such as privet, will be removed and a walkway and educational signage will be installed.  The Southern Environmental Center, the Jefferson County Health Department and the Freshwater Land Trust will offer public tours of the project.  Partnership includes the Freshwater Land Trust, the Jefferson County Department of Health, the Southern Environmental Center, Birmingham-Southern College and Champions for Village Creek Greenway.

“We are excited to be a partner of a wetlands program as prestigious and effective as the Five Star program,” said Matt Bowden, Alabama Power’s vice president of Environmental Affairs.  “Our commitment to this program will help ensure the restoration of impaired stream and wetland areas across Alabama.”

The Five Star Restoration Program is a national initiative providing financial and technical support to wetland, riparian and coastal habitat restoration projects.  It brings together diverse partnerships of citizen groups, corporations, students, landowners and government agencies to foster local natural resource stewardship.  Since 2006, Alabama Power and its sister companies in the Southeast pledged $1.92 million over eight years to fund community-based wetland and streamside restoration.

Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO), provides reliable, affordable electricity to more than 1.4 million customers across the state.  



News Media Contact: Patrick Wylie, 205-257-4155