Gulfport, Miss. – Mississippi Power, Southern Company and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation today announced $5.5 million in grants to 24 community-led projects that will support, restore and enhance the historic range of the longleaf ecosystem.
“These projects will continue the remarkable progress that’s been made in south Mississippi in recent years in restoring our longleaf ecosystem,” Mississippi Power Environmental Affairs Director Mark Loughman said. “Public organizations and private corporations collaborating to restore this unique ecosystem will benefit Mississippi for generations to come.”
The 2017 grants include funding for the following projects located in southeast Mississippi:
The Longleaf Alliance, Inc. and partners will translocate an additional 60 red-cockaded woodpeckers to properties designated as recovery sites by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Project will manage and improve 6,000 acres of longleaf pine forest, providing high quality habitat for RCW nesting and foraging.
The DeSoto-Camp Shelby Longleaf Implementation Team will establish more than 1,000 acres of longleaf pine and enhance an additional 4,500 acres of existing longleaf habitat with prescribed fire on private lands to benefit several rare species including the gopher tortoise, black pine snake, and dusky gopher frog. The Project will engage 850 private landowners through outreach and ptechnical assistance and enroll 20 new landowners in stewardship programs.
The grants are part of NFWF’s Longleaf Stewardship Fund, a public/private partnership that includes Southern Company, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, International Paper’s Forestland Stewards Initiative and Altria.
The Longleaf Stewardship Fund builds on the success of the Longleaf Legacy program, a partnership between Southern Company and NFWF, which for eight years invested more than $8.7 million in projects to restore more than 87,000 acres of longleaf pine forest and the native species that rely on the habitat.
Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for nearly 187,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power ranked first in the Southeastern Electric Exchange’s 2016 Safety Performance Reports and is consistently recognized as an industry leader in reliability, customer service and safety. Visit our websites at www.mississippipower.com and www.mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.