OCEAN CITY – In an effort to bolster good community relations and provide financial assistance, US Wind last week announced key partnerships with three local non-profit conservation organizations serving inland and coastal bays in both Maryland and Delaware.
US Wind, one of two companies developing first- and second-generation offshore wind farms off the Ocean City coast, announced Dec. 2 it was pledging a combined $250,000 to three local conservation groups in the region, including the Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP), the Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT) Coast Kids program, and the Delaware Center for Inland Bays.
US Wind has pledged $100,000 to the MCBP, a national estuary program that, among other things, promotes conservation and habitat protection in the area’s coastal bays.
MCBP Executive Director Kevin Smith said the partnership with US Wind will help bolster the bird habitat protection programs.
“We’ve been partnering with the state, Audubon and US Wind to find a way to create a new coastal resilience position that will help us stem the loss of our tern and skimmer island habitat,” he said. “This partnership with US Wind will make that much-needed position possible.”
US Wind has also pledged another $50,000 to ACT’s Coast Kids program. The program allows local kids to immerse themselves in outdoor experiences from kayaking to bird-banding in order to more fully understand the coastal ecosystems. ACT Executive Director Kathy Phillips said the injection of funding from US Wind would open up the Coast Kids programs to more children in the area.
“As part of the Waterkeeper Alliance, we work closely with our local estuary programs to help reduce nutrient inputs in our local waterways and educate and engage our next generation of environmental stewards,” she said. “Partnering with US Wind on the Coast Kids program is a huge boost to our efforts, allowing many kids who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it to attend this experiential program.”
Finally, US Wind has also pledged $100,000 to the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays. The partnership will help fund the organization’s new James Farm Ecological Preserve in Delaware’s inland bays, according to Executive Director Chris Bason.
“US Wind’s commitment to clean, renewable energy and the health of our coast is tremendous,” he said. “We’re honored to add US Wind’s name to the Environmental Education Building that will be constructed as a part of the master plan for the James Farm Ecological Preserve. Their support will greatly improve the center’s capacity to educate and engage youth and adults in our efforts to restore the health of the Inland Bays and their watershed for decades to come.”
The $250,000 in contributions to the three local area conservation organizations are part of US Wind’s continued efforts at being good neighbors with conservation projects and community outreach, according to US Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski.
“Strong connections in the community are critical to our efforts to bring clean energy and good jobs to the region,” he said. “We’re honored to lend our name to the Center for Inland Bays Environmental Education Center and to be partnering with such well-respected and effective local conservation groups on the Delmarva peninsula.”