I didn’t intend to blog on my vacation, but the public relations team at Progress Energy captured my attention this week and I thought their PR program was worth sharing with you.
Here’s how I came across a small part of their work.
As we do each year for as long as I can remember, my family has gathered at Sunset Beach, NC for a week in August. It’s low key, uncrowded and relatively undeveloped. (I hesitated to share this fact with you, because selfishly, I’d like to keep it that way!)
My favorite part of our week at Sunset is talking a walk to Bird Island, a state-owned Coastal Preserve which lies on the state line with S.C. While the 1,300 acre preserve is completely undeveloped and will remain that way for generations, that was not always the case. At one point, the family who owned the island sought state permission to develop it. (Read this 1995 New York Times story and this 2002 state of NC Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources news release for the backstory.)
When I walked down to Bird Island earlier this week, I was surprise to come across small signs which marked the nests of loggerhead sea turtles. Who paid for the signage and gave a grant to run the turtle protection program? The people of Progress Energy.
Progress operates four nuclear power plants — one of which is just a few miles from Bird Island. When you run a nuclear power plant you’re often the target of environmental activists. Sponsoring a program to protect endangered sea turtles and their nesting sites a few miles from your nuclear power plant is a pretty smart move. From what I can tell, the people of Progress have a history of protecting sea turtles.
Good for them. While I will remain suspicious of nuclear power, I’m glad the people of Progress like sea turtles.