The Power of Flight program is the largest public/private funding effort for bird conservation in the South. Grants in the Power of Flight program were awarded to:
Wildlife Foundation of Florida - Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Wildlife Foundation to promote ecotourism and habitat conservation through birdwatching and use of the Great Florida Birding Trail. This project will facilitate a two-day birding tourism workshop for county officials and private landowners in the Florida panhandle and also fund improvements to the Great Florida Birding Trail such as interpretive signage, benches, trail improvements and educational kiosks.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - to restore approximately 200 acres of degraded tidal freshwater wetlands within the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and provide critical habitat for a variety of plants and animals. This project will aid in cleaning the network of internal canals to improve water level and restore the ability to effectively manage and maintain the wetlands, creating lasting benefits for wildlife and the public.
Mississippi State University - to provide a baseline of ecological information regarding marshbirds of conservation concern in coastal Mississippi. This is the third year Southern Company has supported this program and continues the effort to develop a coastal marshbird conservation program based on long-term monitoring, research and management.
Avian Research and Conservation Institute - to apply management and educational measures to increase nest success, productivity, and survival of swallow-tailed kites. The swallow-tailed kite population has seen a marked decline in the past fifty years and is considered a species of critical conservation concern by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This project will focus on lands proven to be habitually used nesting areas and apply management techniques identified as the most cost-effective ways to increase the population.
National Wild Turkey Federation - to restore 3,000 acres of habitat and support the recovery of red-cockaded woodpecker populations to the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge and the Oconee National Forest. This project will create corridors between occupied and unoccupied woodpecker clusters across the boundaries of the public lands.
Francis M. Weston Audubon Society - to continue and expand a program for elementary age students in Escambia County, Florida, focused on Gulf Coast bird conservation with hands-on lessons and field trips. A standards-based bird conservation curriculum will be implemented, including: introductory classroom sessions, fields trips to the Roy Hyatt Environmental Center, follow-up classroom visits and installation of bird feeders on-site at school. The Center will also be augmented to include non-releasable raptors into the lesson.