ATLANTA, Aug. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power announced today a new partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) during a special event at the Georgia Wildlife Federation facility in Covington, Georgia. The partnership centers on a 30-year Candidate Conservation Agreement (CCA) which provides protection for mollusks of the Altamaha River Basin.
The at-risk species in this agreement are facing a variety of potential environmental threats. The species include four freshwater mussels (Delicate Spike, Altamaha Arcmussel, Inflated Floater, Savannah Lilliput) and one snail (Reverse Pebblesnail). Under the CCA, Georgia Power and Georgia DNR will provide assistance, including personnel and equipment, that will aid in research and enhance the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's understanding of the distribution and ecology of the species. Conservation measures in this agreement should reduce those threats thereby helping to preserve Georgia's biodiversity and improve water quality and mollusks' intricate link in aquatic ecosystem health.
"Georgia's lakes, rivers and streams are home to many diverse and vibrant ecosystems and proactive, long-term research is essential to making sure that we have the right tools and programs in place to keep them healthy for future generations," said Dr. Mark Berry, vice president of Environmental Affairs for Georgia Power. "We're excited to enter this new partnership with Georgia DNR and U.S. Fish & Wildlife, which builds on our longstanding commitment to protect our state's natural resources and take care of the state we call home."
"Through the power of partnerships, we're able to focus on conserving the species that need our help," said Rusty Garrison, DNR Wildlife Resources Division director.
The CCA fits the Wildlife Resources Division's mission and Georgia's State Wildlife Action Plan, a strategy created by DNR and partners - including Georgia Power and the Fish and Wildlife Service - to conserve native wildlife and natural habitats.
"Partnerships work best," said Leopoldo "Leo" Miranda, Assistant Regional Director for Ecological Services for the Service. "This agreement is the latest proof of a growing partnership ethic across this region that makes common-sense conservation possible and reduces the impact of regulations."
Georgia Power's efforts to preserve the state's waterways include regular volunteer river and lake cleanups around the state throughout the year. Since 2003, Georgia Power employees and other volunteers statewide have removed more than 2 million pounds of trash from lakes and rivers through company programs. In addition, Georgia Power works to find new technologies to reduce, conserve and improve the quality of water returned to the environment from power plants. Through a partnership with other utilities and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the company continues to conduct innovative research projects at its Water Research Center at Plant Bowen near Cartersville, Georgia. Research is focused on wastewater treatment to conserve and reuse water more efficiently. To learn more, visit www.georgiapower.com/environment.
About Georgia Power Georgia Power is the largest electric subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America's premier energy company. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company's promise to 2.5 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Georgia Power focuses on delivering world-class service to its customers every day and the company is consistently recognized by J.D. Power and Associates as an industry leader in customer satisfaction. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower), Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower) and Instagram (Instagram.com/ga_power).
About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.