Georgia Power, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Georgia DNR Partner to Protect Mollusks of the Altamaha River Basin

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Georgia Power announced a new partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources during a special event at the Georgia Wildlife Federation facility in Covington, Georgia. The partnership centers on a 30-year Candidate Conservation Agreement which provides protection for mollusks of the Altamaha River Basin.  

The at-risk species in this agreement are facing a variety of potential environmental threats. The species include four freshwater mussels (Delicate Spike, Altamaha Arcmussel, Inflated Floater, Savannah Lilliput) and one snail (Reverse Pebblesnail). Under the CCA, Georgia Power and Georgia DNR will provide assistance, including personnel and equipment, that will aid in research and enhance the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's understanding of the distribution and ecology of the species. Conservation measures in this agreement should reduce those threats thereby helping to preserve Georgia's biodiversity and improve water quality and mollusks' intricate link in aquatic ecosystem health. 

"Georgia's lakes, rivers and streams are home to many diverse and vibrant ecosystems and proactive, long-term research is essential to making sure that we have the right tools and programs in place to keep them healthy for future generations," said Dr. Mark Berry, vice president of Environmental Affairs for Georgia Power. "We're excited to enter this new partnership with Georgia DNR and U.S. Fish & Wildlife, which builds on our longstanding commitment to protect our state's natural resources and take care of the state we call home."

"Through the power of partnerships, we're able to focus on conserving the species that need our help," said Rusty Garrison, DNR Wildlife Resources Division director.

The CCA fits the Wildlife Resources Division's mission and Georgia's State Wildlife Action Plan, a strategy created by DNR and partners - including Georgia Power and the Fish and Wildlife Service - to conserve native wildlife and natural habitats.

"Partnerships work best," said Leopoldo "Leo" Miranda, Assistant Regional Director for Ecological Services for the Service. "This agreement is the latest proof of a growing partnership ethic across this region that makes common-sense conservation possible and reduces the impact of regulations."