CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new partnership between Apex Clean Energy (Apex) and Ducks Unlimited (DU) will improve wildlife habitat in the lower Illinois River Valley, a region crucial to community recreation and several species of winged wildlife.
Apex, a leading clean energy company, contributed $300,000 to Ducks Unlimited—the first recipient of the newly launched Apex Conservation Grant program. Through the program, nonprofit organizations are awarded funds to support targeted field conservation work in and around Apex’s project communities. The DU award is in support of Lincoln Land Wind, a project developed by Apex and owned by funds managed by Ares Management’s Infrastructure and Power strategy. The renewable power from the project is sold to McDonald’s and Facebook under long-term agreements.
DU will lead a project to improve more than 330 acres of habitat at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge, a migratory bird refuge in southwestern Illinois featuring 9,000 acres of floodplain habitat at the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.
“Beyond our work to accelerate the shift to clean energy, it’s critical for us to act and lead on sustainability,” said Apex President and CEO Mark Goodwin. “This partnership with Ducks Unlimited will restore crucial habitat corridors to improve forest health and longevity for many species.”
The project has two objectives: restore 324 acres of forested, emergent wetlands within the floodplain and implement nearly 20 acres of Timber Stand Improvements (TSI) to boost forest quality for bats and other wildlife species.
Flood-prone, former agricultural fields will be restored to seasonal wetlands that will permit refuge staff to mimic historic natural flooding conditions and provide healthy wetland forest habitat for wildlife, public recreation, flood storage, and water quality benefits.
The TSI aims to preserve mature, healthy trees on-site, retain dead trees for habitat, create quarter-acre bat-foraging openings in the forest, and reforest traditional hardwood species.
“Improving these forested wetlands will benefit a wide variety of ducks, shorebirds, bats, and fish,” said DU regional biologist in Illinois Michael Sertle. “Apex is an industry leader for clean water and wildlife, and we couldn’t achieve this tremendous project without them.”
Project funding also comes from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Rice Family Foundation, Dr. Scholl’s Foundation, Bass Pro Shops, and DU major donors.
About Apex Clean Energy
Apex Clean Energy was founded with a singular focus: to accelerate the shift to clean energy. Through origination, construction, and operation of utility-scale wind, solar, and storage facilities, distributed energy resources, and green fuel technologies, Apex is expanding the renewable frontier across North America. Our mission-driven team of more than 250 professionals uses a data-focused approach and…