Four Alabama projects receive Five Star environmental grants - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Four Alabama projects receive Five Star environmental grants

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From: Alabama Power;

Four waterway restoration projects in Jefferson, Mobile and Pike counties are receiving grants as part of the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program.

 

The awards leverage more than $1.5 million in partner funding and in-kind services for stream bank and coastal restoration.

 

"These projects are successful because they are based on partnerships among conservation groups, businesses, schools, landowners and many others," said Matt Bowden, Alabama Power's vice president of Environmental Affairs. "Since joining the partnership in 2006, more than 20 projects in Alabama have restored more than 100 acres of wetlands and 6,000 feet of creek and stream bank."

 

  • In Jefferson County, the Freshwater Land Trust will clean and restore two acres on a former industrial site along the banks of Village Creek – removing concrete and industrial debris, restoring natural bank vegetation and beginning the first phase of a trail connecting a nearby residential area to an existing park. This site is a major connector for the county's Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System.

 

  • In Jefferson County, Birmingham-Southern College will lead bank and in-stream restoration at Turkey Creek Nature Preserve along a 100-foot stretch to support the vermilion darter – a species of fish found only in Turkey Creek. The project will reduce sediment to increase the darter's habitat range and decrease population isolation. A stream-bank access point and pavilion will also be constructed.

 

  • In Mobile County, Alma Bryant High School students will restore 20,000 square feet of oyster reefs and expand hands-on curriculum for aquaculture and marine biology students. The students will grow oysters and then place them in a local oyster preserve, monitor the success of their efforts and share information with other schools and people in the community.

 

  • In Pike County, Troy University will spearhead the restoration of wetland and bank habitat on 15 acres of the college campus in Janice Hawkins Park along an unnamed tributary to Persimmon Branch. Partners and volunteers will remove non-native plants and create wetlands to capture and filter polluted storm water before it enters local streams. Out-of-date storm water infrastructure will also be upgraded, and a natural amphitheater constructed.

 

Alabama Power participates in the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program as part of Southern Company's partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Association of Counties and the Wildlife Habitat Council.

 

This year, Southern Company, the regional lead corporate sponsor of the program, is providing $202,439 to 11 projects that, combined with project and partner matching funds and in-kind services, will result in an impact of nearly $3.5 million.

 

"With the help of public, private and corporate funders, the Five Star and Urban Waters program supports dynamic conservation work across the country," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. "These grants not only protect and restore the places that fish and wildlife need, but also enhance natural amenities for the entire community."

 

Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), provides affordable, reliable power to more than 1.4 million customers across the state.  Alabama Power employee volunteers work across the state on environmental stewardship projects designed to protect and enhance the state's important habitats and natural beauty.

 

To learn more about Alabama Power's environmental commitment, please visit www.alabamapower.com and click on "Environment."

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