At NRG, we have a responsibility to the environment and to the communities where we live and work. We are committed to being a positive force for conservation within our local communities. We know the important role protecting nature plays in securing resources for future generations. Explore how we’re helping groups like Student Conservation Association and the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation.
Growing “Generation Green”
NRG partnered with the Student Conservation Association to support their summer student intern program, designed to foster the next generation of conservationists. Students learned about clean energy jobs by visiting our Arthur Kill generating station in Staten Island, New York, and our employees worked alongside students at Hermann Park in Houston to remove nonnative plants.
NRG has helped fund the program and participated in a kick-off event at the Stamford Museum Nature Center in Connecticut to install handrails and make improvements on the “Wheels in the Woods” universally accessible nature trail at the center. Representatives and clients from Richmond Community Services, a local organization serving those with physical disabilities, also attended the event to inaugurate the newly improved trail.
White House Honors
NRG received the White House Coastal America Partnership Award for our support of the North Deer Island shoreline restoration project in Texas. Given by President Obama, the award recognizes outstanding partnerships that make a significant contribution toward restorating and protecting our nation’s coastal environment.
Federal, state, and local governments, as well as nongovernmental organizations and the private sector, collaborated on the project to stabilize nearly two miles of shoreline that was once rapidly eroding. As a result of the effort, nesting and foraging sites for tens of thousands of waterbirds from 19 species will be sustained for years to come. This restoration project has been instrumental in the brown pelican’s recovery in Galveston Bay, Texas, and the iconic bird has now been removed from the endangered species list.
The cord grass plants NRG donated to reduce erosion and as a wildlife habitat in the North Deer Island restoration were grown at NRG’s EcoCenter near Baytown, Texas. Over the past five years, the Company has donated 17,000 plants to the cause and employees have also joined other volunteers to help plant the grass at North Deer Island.
Outstanding environmental stewardship in California
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration presented NRG with the Walter B. Jones Memorial Excellence in Business Leadership award for our leadership in combating the invasive marine algae caulerpa taxifolia (“killer algae”) found in Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad, Calif. This award is only given once every three years and NRG was the first power producer to receive the honor.
The Agua Hedionda Lagoon is adjacent to NRG’s Encina Generating Station, which uses water from the lagoon for plant cooling. The constant flow of seawater through the lagoon makes it an ideal environment for aquaculture by Carlsbad Aquafarms and for the Hubbs-Sea World fish hatchery, which replenishes the population of white sea bass. Other noteworthy environmental activities include periodic maintenance dredging and beach sand replenishment, as well as supporting the non-profit Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation.