In honor of Environmental Awareness Month, Georgia Power is highlighting its efforts around improving and protecting the state’s waterways and the species that live in them.
The company is highlighting four major conservation areas: land, sensitive Species, waterways and habitats. The gopher tortoise, the state’s official reptile, is a part of those sensitive species efforts. The gopher tortoise is the oldest living species native to Georgia and is a keystone species of longleaf pine forests.
Earlier this month, the company featured its land management practices which included maintaining and operating over 100,000 acres of land, 60,000 acres of water and more than 15 lake properties, said spokesperson Holly Lovett.
For week three of the Environmental Awareness Month, the company is focusing on lakes, water grants and shoal bass. Georgia Power operates 16 hydroelectric generation lakes that produce renewable electricity and numerous outdoor activities. Georgia Power uses falling water’s natural energy to generate efficient and economical energy. The company also participates in river and lake cleanups around the state.
The Georgia Power Foundation awarded $1 million in environmental grants to eight different organizations throughout Georgia. The grants fund projects that are focused on preserving and restoring waterways, lakes and rivers. The grant programs reach water solutions across the Chattahoochee, Savannah, Flint, Coosa, Ocmulgee, Altamaha and Ogeechee basins.
Other conservation efforts include shoal bass research. Shoal bass are native to the Apalachicola River Basin, which includes the Chattahoochee and Flint systems. The shoal bass are also found in the Ocmulgee River. While these fish are highly-prized sportfish, they also raise conservation concern.
The Georgia Power Water Research and Conservation Center is researching new technologies to reduce, conserve and improve the quality of water returned to the environment from power plants.