FPL poles create two reefs off of St. Lucie County

Wed Jan 9, 2013 2:30pm EST

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More than 100 poles recently sunk off Fort Pierce, replaced by new power line
poles helping to increase service reliability
JUNO BEACH, Fla.,  Jan. 9, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- Off the coast of  St. Lucie
County, divers and anglers can enjoy two new artificial reefs that were created
through a donation of 130 concrete poles provided by  Florida Power  & Light
Company (FPL). These new reefs, located east of  Fort Pierce, are in addition to
an artificial reef created in 2005 using FPL-donated material.

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In  October 2012, FPL removed and replaced 130 concrete poles in  Port St. Lucie
 with about 60 poles that are more storm-resilient. This project and a new
substation are part of FPL's larger plans to enhance service reliability and
reduce service interruptions in  St. Lucie County.

"We are constantly making improvements to our infrastructure to ensure we
maintain the highest level of service reliability to our customers," said FPL
Environmental Project Manager  Jackie Kingston. "While we are making these
improvements, FPL ensures that we are also being good environmental stewards.
This project allows us to benefit our customers and their energy needs and
provide the greater community with two new artificial reefs at the same time."

The donated poles, weighing a total of about 2,000 tons or the equivalent of
1,250 mid-sized cars, were transported to Harbour Pointe Park in  Fort Pierce 
before they were submerged off the coast during four deployments in  December
2012  and  January 2013  to create the reefs. The coordinates for the two reefs,
which are in about 60 feet of water and have already attracted fish, are:

* 27 degrees 23 minutes north latitude and 80 degrees 2 minutes west longitude;
and  
* 27 degrees 32 minutes north latitude and 80 degrees 11 minutes west
longitude.

The poles mark the largest and second donation of material from FPL to  St.
Lucie County's artificial reef program. The county's artificial reef program has
spared thousands of tons of concrete from landfills, while creating underwater
habitats for marine life, anglers and divers to enjoy.

FPL's donation is the most recent example of what has been a long-standing
corporate value of environmental stewardship. For example, FPL's decades-old
program that monitors and protects the American crocodile at Turkey Point power
plant has helped remove it from the federal endangered species list. In
addition, approximately three-quarters of the  St. Lucie  power plant property
consists of mangrove swamps, marsh and beaches, allowing the company to support
a variety of environmental activities, including a sea turtle monitoring and
protection program.

"FPL has been a great partner working with our program to increase the
artificial reefs off of our coast," said  James Oppenborn,  St. Lucie County 
marine resource coordinator. "The initial artificial reef created by FPL has
become very popular for fishing and diving, featuring more than 30 species of
fish and various sea life growing on the concrete poles. These reefs have also
generated economic opportunities for area businesses, providing services to
visitors enjoying the reefs."  

Since 2005,  St. Lucie County's artificial reef program has spared 16,000 tons
of concrete from landfills, while creating 24 underwater habitats for marine
life, anglers and divers to enjoy.  St. Lucie County  has one of the most active
artificial reef programs in the state. Reports from consultants, anglers and
divers indicate that the reefs are providing habitat for 111 species of fish.

Florida has more than 2,700 artificial reefs off its coast, reportedly the
largest number of permitted artificial reefs in the nation. A  University of
Florida  study reported that non-residents and visitors annually spend  $1.7
billion  on fishing and diving activities associated with artificial reefs in 
South Florida.

Visit  www.stlucieco.gov/mosquito/reefs.htm, call (772) 462-1713 or email 
oppenbornj@stlucieco.org  for more information about  St. Lucie County's
Artificial Reef Program.

Florida Power  & Light Company
Florida Power  & Light Company is the largest rate-regulated electric utility in
 Florida  and serves the third largest number of customers of any electric
utility in  the United States. FPL serves approximately 4.6 million customer
accounts and is a leading Florida employer with approximately 10,000 employees
as of year-end 2011. During the five year period ended  December 31, 2011, the
company delivered the best service reliability among Florida investor-owned
utilities, while its typical residential customer bills, based on data available
in  December 2011, are about 25 percent below the national average. A clean
energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and one of the
leading energy efficiency programs among utilities nationwide. FPL is a
subsidiary of  Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more
information, visit  www.FPL.com.

Click here to download 25298 St Lucie Pole Recycling

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SOURCE   Florida Power  & Light Company


Florida Power & Light Co., Media Line: +1-305-552-3888
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