Gulf Coastal Plain Ecosystem Partnership (GCPEP)
Gulf Power Foundation Amplify! Grant Awarded to The Longleaf Alliance
By Vernon Compton, GCPEP Director, The Longleaf Alliance
The Longleaf Alliance (LLA) was one of 36 organizations across northwest Florida to receive an Amplify! Grant from the Gulf Power Foundation. The Amplify! Grants support organizations with implementing effective programs within the Gulf Power Service Area. Jennifer McFarren, Deputy Manager for the Gulf Power Foundation, highlighted that “Amplify! Grants are geared toward improving the organization so it can be more effective and efficient in its operations.” The LLA is doing just that by hiring a Cogongrass Coordinator, Ed O’Daniels, to help in addressing the growing concern over cogongrass as an invading species. Partners have identified cogongrass as a major threat to the restoration of the longleaf ecosystem in Northwest Florida and South Alabama. The Cogongrass Coordinator will lead control efforts at the landscape level using a comprehensive database tracking system while working with private landowners who have infestations less than 1 acre in size to implement control efforts. Such a coordinated control and implementation plan will increase the chances of stopping the advancing front of cogongrass in the GCPEP landscape. Initial efforts in Northwest Florida will be centered around Blackwater River State Forest and Escribano Point Wildlife Management Area. The LLA and GCPEP partners thank the Gulf Power Foundation for the generous grant helping to accelerate this important work.
Gulf Power President Marlene Santos (far left) and Susan Melians, Gulf Power Vice President Customer Service and External Relations (far right), presenting grant award to Vernon Compton and Anne Rilling of The Longleaf Alliance. Photo by Gulf Power.