ATLANTA, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southern Company today announced that it is pledging an additional $1.08 million to the Five Star Restoration and Power of Flight programs, extending its sponsorship of both conservation programs through 2013. The extended support aligns their sponsorship timelines with Longleaf Legacy, Southern Company's third major environmental stewardship program that helps restore the longleaf pine ecosystem.
"Southern Company is proud to pledge additional funding and support for these important programs and extend our commitment to environmental stewardship throughout our Southeastern community," said Chris Hobson, chief environmental officer at Southern Company. "We look forward to building upon our longstanding partnerships with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Association of Counties, and many other conservation organizations and community partners to further strengthen efforts to protect and enhance our environment."
The Power of Flight program, conserving Southern birds and their habitats, is the largest public agency-private corporation funding effort for bird conservation in the South. This new pledge secures one additional year of funding for projects to the existing 10-year commitment. Efforts span Southern Company's primary service area of Georgia, Alabama, northwestern Florida and southeastern Mississippi.
"Southern Company's support of our work to better conserve the Southeast's fish and wildlife resources has been as consistent as it has been generous," said Jeff Trandahl, NFWF executive director. "The company's unwavering commitment to bettering the fish and wildlife resources of the Southeast has made possible numerous projects, benefiting ecosystems from the coast to the highlands."
The Five Star Restoration Program provides grants and technical support for community-based education and outreach projects in riparian (land-bordering waterways), coastal or wetland areas. Southern Company began its sponsorship of the Five Star Restoration Program in 2006, pledging a five-year $1.2 million commitment. This new pledge adds three years of support to help build local community capacity for resource stewardship and ecological restoration in watersheds through hands-on community involvement, outreach and education. As the Southeastern corporate sponsor, Southern Company joins EPA, NFWF, NACo and the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) in selecting and funding Five Star projects.
"EPA commends Southern Company's support as a corporate sponsor of the Five Star Restoration Program," said Stan Meiburg, acting regional administrator, EPA Region 4. "This support will enable EPA to provide challenge grants, technical support and information to promote community-based wetland and stream restoration projects across the Southeast."
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is an independent conservation leader that in 25 years has awarded 10,800 grants to more than 3,700 organizations. By building partnerships, the congressionally chartered Foundation has leveraged $635 million into $1.5 billion to sustain, restore and enhance fish, wildlife and plant populations.
With 4.4 million customers and more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast. A leading U.S. producer of electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, 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 below the national average. Southern Company is consistently listed among the top U.S. electric service providers in customer satisfaction by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Visit our Web site at www.southerncompany.com
SOURCE Southern Company