Coastal Alabama projects receive $24 million in funding

Coastal Alabama projects receive $24 million in funding
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has awarded grants to four Alabama conservation projects intended to continue to remedy the harmful effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Alabama's Gulf Coast. (Alabama Power Foundation)

Four environmental conservation projects in coastal Alabama will benefit from grants awarded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

Gov. Kay Ivey announced the $24 million in grants from NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.

“The funding of these projects continues reinvestment in the Alabama Gulf Coast communities that were impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill nearly 10 years ago,” Ivey said. “I appreciate the work of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and our partnership with NFWF as we continue to recover and build a more resilient coast.”

Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill approaches the coast of Mobile on May 6, 2010. Ten years later, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation continues to provide recovery grants to Alabama Gulf Coast communities. (Petty Officer 1st Class Michael B. Watkins, U.S. Navy, Wikipedia)

The projects in Mobile and Baldwin counties include environmentally important land acquisitions, wetland protection, erosion control and shoreline habitat restoration.

The high-priority conservation projects were identified in consultation with state and federal agencies. They are designed to remedy harm and reduce the risk of future harm to natural resources that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

“These projects represent important continuing investments in the state of Alabama to improve coastal bay function and improve marsh habitat,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “NFWF is also pleased to provide leverage through the Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund to enhance storm protection for the Dauphin Island Causeway.”

The Dauphin Island Causeway project includes designing and installing a breakwater and marsh habitat that will protect the causeway against future erosion and storm damage, while creating habitat to benefit coastal birds and fish.

Another project funded by the NFWF grants will help restore highly eroded banks and stream channels within the lower Fish River watershed, which drains into environmentally sensitive Weeks Bay.

A third project will allow for the acquisition and protection of about 300 acres of wetlands in the Dog River watershed. The purchase of the land, along lower Halls Mill Creek, will preserve one of the largest undeveloped areas of bottomland hardwood wetlands that remain in the watershed.

The grants will also pay for an even larger land acquisition, some 2,300 acres of coastal habitat, at the confluence of the Blackwater and Perdido rivers. The property includes about four miles of river frontage, more than 1,200 acres of wetlands and a lake spanning more than 90 acres. The land, which supports a diversity of bird and other wetland-dependent species, is being purchased in partnership with the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust and The Conservation Fund.

Alabama Power has a longstanding partnership with NFWF on environmental protection initiatives, including the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative, the Longleaf Stewardship Fund, the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program, the Southeast Aquatics Fund and the Bats for the Future Fund.

Protecting and preserving Alabama’s Gulf Coast is part of Alabama Power’s environmental commitment. Alabama Power has supported the preservation of Lightning Point in Bayou La Batre as well as restoration of oyster habitats and the expansion of artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico.

To find out more about Alabama Power’s environmental initiatives and partners in environmental stewardship, please click here.

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