Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc.

Vogtle Electric Generating Plant

Waynesboro, Georgia, United States

Certified Gold through 2023

Project Name
Project Type
Purple Martins
Avian

About the Program
The Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant is a nuclear power plant on 3,200-acres of land located 15-miles east of Waynesboro, Georgia, east of Burke County on the western bank of Savannah River. In the past, the land was primarily used to farm cotton. Now, the site is comprised of 2,100-acres of woodland forest habitat used to support a long-term commitment to environmental stewardship, enhancing local wildlife and developing environmental education programs. Forest habitat on-site support native avian, reptile, and bat species in accordance with Recommended Best Management Practices for Forestry in Georgia, and Best Management Practices for Forested Wetlands in Georgia.

Practices and Impacts

  • The site actively manages an avian habitat to enhance purple martin habitat by providing nesting and shelter opportunity to increase the population of native avian species. Since the inception of the project, 5-purple martin boxes have been maintained at the property to facilitate population growth. Employees installed design features in purple martin houses to mitigate predators, and monitor colonies weekly using techniques such as visual counts, call surveys, and remote observation. 100% of bird boxes were occupied in 2018, and 2019.
  • Team members actively manage the site as an avian habitat to enhance eastern bluebird habitat and combat loss of habitat due to urbanization by placing nest boxes on the property. The nest boxes provide nesting, breeding, and foraging opportunities for the native species and present monitoring opportunities using techniques such as visual counts, population surveys, and remote observation of the bluebirds. Employees clean nest boxes as needed. Since 1992, 32-nest boxes were placed on-site with an average of 25 hatchlings per cycle.  
  • A conservation objective to increase the gopher tortoise population through maintenance and habitat enhancement was initiated in 2012 to provide shelter, foraging opportunity, and movement corridors to native tortoise species. 2,035-acres of longleaf pine were planted since the inception of the land management program, and prescribed fires are scheduled to enhance the viability of the habitat. In coordination with the Orianne Society, the site relocated 32 tortoises to suitable habitat since the beginning of the project.

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