Wildlife and habitat conservation in Illinois is the new target of Apex Clean Energy; the company announced that it has contributed with $300,000 to Ducks Unlimited, to improve wildlife habitat in the lower Illinois River Valley, a region crucial to community recreation and several species of winged creatures.
Firstly, Ducks Unlimited is an entity created by Apex Clean Energy, to be the 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.
Secondly, the funds awarded to Ducks Unlimited will support Lincoln Land Wind, a project developed by Apex and owned by funds managed by Ares Management’s Infrastructure and Power strategy. According to the statement, the renewable power that Lincoln Land Wind generates goes to McDonald’s and Facebook under long-term agreements.
Thirdly, after the award, DU will lead a project to improve more than 330 acres of habitat at Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge; which is a migratory bird refuge in southwestern Illinois featuring 9,000 acres of floodplain habitat, at the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.
Moreover, the project has two objectives; firstly, restore 324 acres of forested, emergent wetlands within the floodplain; and secondly, implement nearly 20 acres of Timber Stand Improvements (TSI) to boost forest quality for bats and other wildlife species.
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Wildlife conservation through forest and lands restoration
In addition, to achieve those objectives, DU will restore former agricultural fields to seasonal wetlands that will permit refuge; consequently, the land would mimic historic natural flooding conditions which will provide healthy wetland forest habitat for wildlife; also, public recreation, flood storage, and water quality benefits.
Furthermore, the TSI aims to preserve mature, healthy trees on-site; also, to retain dead trees for habitat, create quarter-acre bat-foraging openings in the forest; and reforest traditional hardwood species.
On the other hand, about the relevance of the project, DU regional biologist in Illinois Michael Sertle, said. “Improving these forested wetlands will benefit a wide variety of ducks, shorebirds; also, bats, and fish.”
Finally, he remarked. “Apex is an industry leader for clean water and wildlife, and we couldn’t achieve this tremendous project without them.”