APC, Nature Conservancy receive environmental award

APC, Nature Conservancy receive environmental award
From left, Plant Barry Manager Mike Burroughs, TNC Coastal Conservation Specialist Jacob Blandford, External Affairs Manager Beth Thomas, Customer Service Manager and 2018 APSO President Erin Delaporte, TNC Marine Program Director Judy Haner and Mobile Division Vice President Nick Sellers. (Contributed)
Volunteers from the Alabama Power Service Organization and the Nature Conservancy teamed up for a reef restoration project in Mobile Bay at Helen Wood Park. (Mike Kittrell)

Alabama Power and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) have received a Partners for Environmental Progress (PEP) Environmental Stewardship Award for their partnership last year on an oyster reef project in Mobile Bay.

Alabama Power and TNC teamed up to help preserve the reef at Helen Wood Park on Mobile Bay. TNC worked with the Alabama Power Foundation to fund restoring the reef using new, innovative oyster “castles” to replace the bagged oyster shells originally used to build the reef.

The bagged oyster shells did not hold up well to the Mobile Bay waves. Oyster castles are much like large concrete interlocking blocks. They are stronger than bagged shells and better withstand wave action from boats in the bay.

The reef helps attract and foster oyster settlement and creates a habitat for fish and other marine life. It also helps protect against erosion and provides a stable shore.

Volunteers from the Alabama Power Service Organization and the Nature Conservancy teamed up for a reef restoration project in Mobile Bay at Helen Wood Park. (Mike Kittrell)

Funding for the project was provided by the Alabama Power Foundation and Alabama Power Service Organization partnered with TNC for volunteers to rebuild the reef.

Accepting the award were Plant Barry Manager Mike Burroughs, TNC Coastal Conservation Specialist Jacob Blandford, External Affairs Manager Beth Thomas, Customer Service Manager and 2018 APSO President Erin Delaporte, TNC Marine Program Director Judy Haner and Mobile Division Vice President Nick Sellers.

Volunteers from the Alabama Power Service Organization and the Nature Conservancy teamed up for a reef restoration project in Mobile Bay at Helen Wood Park. (Mike Kittrell)

PEP is a coalition of business and education leaders who share the vision of applying science-based environmental best practices to business and community issues. PEP’s 200 business members along the Gulf Coast value the area’s unique natural resources, as well as the thriving economy.

PEP members understand the future of the Gulf Coast depends on ensuring a balance between business development and job creation, industrial growth and a healthy environment.

Since 2005, the PEP board of directors has presented the Environmental Stewardship Award to recognize members whose work has made a significant, positive contribution to the Gulf Coast region in three crucial areas: economic growth, environmental health and social responsibility.

TNC works across all 50 states to conserve land and water. The organization works with private and public partners to ensure lands and waters are protected for future generations.

TNC members believe that people and nature can thrive together and the organization looks for real-world solutions to environmental issues, including food and water security and city growth.

Long-range view as volunteers from the Alabama Power Service Organization and the Nature Conservancy teamed up for a reef restoration project in Mobile Bay at Helen Wood Park. (Mike Kittrell)

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