ATLANTA, Sept. 12, 2003 — Southern Co. recently extended its Power of Flight bird habitat conservation partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) for another four years. Also, the company announced a separate partnership with NFWF to restore the South’s signature longleaf pine ecosystem to conserve biological diversity and sequester carbon.
Both conservation initiatives reflect the company’s ongoing commitment to enhance and sustain our natural environment by partnering with organizations committed to fostering environmental improvements. Conservation efforts 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.
“Conserving bird habitats and the longleaf pine ecosystem are important aspects of Southern Company’s stewardship initiatives, as they each play a critical role in the South’s culture, environment and economy,” said Charles Goodman, Southern Company senior vice president of research and environmental affairs. “Our partnerships with key organizations to accomplish our conservation goals will enable us to make further environmental improvements within our communities.”
The Power of Flight program, which launched in August of 2002, focuses on bird habit conservation and education efforts beneficial to some of the South’s most threatened and endangered or declining bird species. Southern Company will provide $250,000 annually to the Power of Flight program.
The company will also donate $50,000 to support the Foundation’s bird conservation programs. NFWF will match Southern Company’s $250,000 contribution dollar for dollar. Earlier this year, grants were awarded under the pilot program to eight conservation organizations and natural resource agencies committed to conserving birds and their habitats. Grant recipients supply matching funds for their Power of Flight awards on a minimum of a one-to-one basis, thereby generating more than $1 million annually toward tangible improvements. Grants will be awarded on an annual basis.
The longleaf pine ecosystem once occupied more than 90 million acres of the coastal plain in the southeastern United States. Today, however, fewer than 3 million acres of this ecosystem remain. As a result, Southern Company and its operating companies are working with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to implement a five-year, $8 million carbon sequestration restoration partnership for longleaf pine.
Southern Company will leverage a $3 million financial contribution with matching funds from NFWF and other organizations to facilitate the $8 million or more in restoration efforts.
“Southern Company’s commitment to habitat conservation in the southeast is exemplary,” said John Berry, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s executive director. “The longleaf pine ecosystem is found nowhere else on earth, and through Southern Company’s leadership, thousands of acres of this unique habitat will be restored. The Power of Flight program for birds complements the longleaf focus, and will help restore red-cockaded woodpeckers, bobwhite quail, and other species native to this region. This program is a model for corporate support of important conservation initiatives.”
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a non-profit 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 www.nfwf.org.
With 4 million customers and more than 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO – News) is a super- regional energy company in the Southeast and a 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.
Visit the Southern Company web site at www.southerncompany.com.