Projects will enhance ecosystems, bolster priority fish and wildlife populations, and strengthen resiliency within the coastal region
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 2, 2018) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced seven grant awards totaling over $700,000 to enhance coastal habitats, bolster fish and wildlife populations, and strengthen resilience in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Grantee organizations have committed nearly $1 million in match, generating a total conservation impact of over $1.7 million.
The grants were awarded through the Gulf Coast Conservation Grants Program(GCCGP), a partnership between the Shell Marine & Wildlife Habitat Program, the Southern Company Power of Flight Program, NFWF and others.
“The coastal ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico sustain some of North America’s most productive wildlife habitats, along with some of our nation’s most vibrant communities,” said Jeff Trandahl, CEO and executive director of NFWF. “This remarkable partnership helps ensure coastal habitats continue to support healthy populations of wildlife while also acting as a natural buffer against hurricanes and other disasters.”
Through these grants, NFWF’s conservation partners along the Gulf of Mexico will:
Restore swamp habitat in Louisiana’s Pontchartrain Basin that will serve as storm buffer and benefit 18 species of concern, including the bald eagle, prothonotary warbler, mottled duck, swallow-tailed kite, Louisiana black bear and alligator snapping turtle.
Protect 400 acres of native coastal prairie in Texas, benefiting rare species such as the Aplomado falcon and ocelot and linking the Laguna Atascosa and Lower Rio Grande Valley national wildlife refuges.
Build a living shoreline on the western shore of Galveston Bay in Texas, restoring intertidal marsh and protecting coastal upland habitats.
Expand landowner stewardship practices on at least 5,000 acres of private lands in Alabama, benefiting migratory shorebirds, waterfowl and a host of other coastal species.
Boost the procurement of conservation easements on and around rice farms in southwest Louisiana, which provide critical overwintering habitat for numerous migratory birds.
Re-establish and expand standardized migratory and breeding bird surveys on the barrier islands of Mississippi, while also expanding a snowy plover banding program.
Develop a detailed action plan and focus conservation efforts to support reddish egret populations along the Gulf of Mexico.
“The Gulf Coast is home to well over 15,000 Shell employees, so we have both a business and personal stake in preserving our natural environment. We have enjoyed a long, productive partnership with NFWF and look forward to building on our record of enhancing coastlines and protecting wildlife habitats,” said Bruce Culpepper, President, Shell Oil Company.
“The Gulf Coast’s rich ecosystems make it an ideal place for both people and wildlife,” said Southern Company Environmental and System Planning Vice President Jeff Burleson. “We are pleased to support projects that empower private landowners and public agencies to strengthen coastal resiliency and bolster wildlife populations, like migratory shorebirds and waterfowl.”
The Gulf Coast Conservation Grants Program seeks to build and maintain the resilience of the Gulf Coast’s ecosystems, living resources and communities by supporting critical gaps in conservation and catalyzing conservation solutions that can be taken to scale. It is a competitive grants program that supports priority conservation needs of the Gulf Coast that are not otherwise expected to be funded under NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund or other funding opportunities associated with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Since the program’s inception in 2015, more than $18.6 million has been awarded to 62 grants. These projects have generated an additional $29 million in matching support, for a total on-the-ground impact of nearly $47.7 million. These projects will sustain, restore or enhance more than 86,700 acres of coastal habitat along the Gulf of Mexico.
More details on this year’s grant awards are available here.
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and generated a conservation impact of more than $4.8 billion. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
About Shell Oil Company
Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with operations in more than 70 countries. In the U.S., Shell operates in 50 states and employs more than 16,000 people working to help tackle the challenges of the new energy future.
Environmental stewardship is one way Shell has continued to share benefits with communities over the past 100 years. Since 1999, Shell has focused our partnerships with many environmental NGOs in the U.S. to protect more than 13 million acres of wetlands, clean and remove 600,000 pounds of debris from shoreline and conserve more than 1.8 million acres of critical habitat.
About Southern Company
Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is nationally recognized as a leading energy company, with 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity and 1,500 billion cubic feet of combined natural gas consumption and throughput volume serving 9 million customers through its subsidiaries as of December 31, 2017. We operate nearly 200,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines and more than 80,000 miles of natural gas pipeline as of December 31, 2017.
The company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric operating companies in four states, natural gas distribution companies in seven states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers in 11 states across America and a nationally recognized provider of customized energy solutions, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Visit www.southerncompany.com to learn more.