CARLSBAD, Calif. & MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., March 19, 2003 — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has named Cabrillo Power I LLC as the recipient of its Walter B. Jones Memorial Excellence in Business Leadership Award for Coastal and Ocean Resource Management. Cabrillo Power received the nationally recognized award Wednesday from NOAA during a ceremony in Washington, DC.
Cabrillo Power LLC–one of the plants indirectly owned by NRG Energy, Inc through its affiliate West Coast Power LLC–received this honor for its leadership role in coastal restoration and protection. Cabrillo Power owns and operates the Encina generating station located along the Pacific Coast in Carlsbad, California.
Every two years, NOAA recognizes one business that has made significant contributions to improve or protect the coastal or ocean environment and that demonstrates the ability to balance business interests with environmental needs. As an active participant in the Southern California Caulerpa Action Team (SCCAT), Cabrillo Power took on a leadership role in eradicating the highly invasive marine algae, Caulerpa taxifolia, when it was discovered in the Agua Hedionda Lagoon in 2000. Left unchecked, Caulerpa taxifolia – nicknamed “Killer Algae” – can quickly overgrow and eliminate sea plants causing severe ecological and economic devastation.
Although Cabrillo Power did not cause the environmental threat, the company immediately and voluntarily paid for all initial efforts, contributing in excess of $100,000 towards eradicating the algae, commissioned a biological monitoring company to map out its location in the lagoon and begin testing herbicides to prevent its spread. Cabrillo Power also organized a coalition of governmental agencies to lead the Caulerpa taxifolia eradication effort, helped organize public outreach and stayed involved to ensure prompt and decisive action continued.
Cabrillo Power currently manages Aqua Hedionda Lagoon through an established dredging and beach sand replenishment program. The Lagoon supports numerous activities, all dependent on a healthy environment, including the Hubbs-Seaworld white sea bass fish hatchery and research institute, a YMCA children’s camp and public recreation open space amenities including a trail system, kayaking, and fishing. In addition, Cabrillo Power is also a supporter of Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project and the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation.
During the 1990 reauthorization of the 1972 Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), the late Congressman Walter B. Jones, former chairman of the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, provided NOAA with the authority to honor people and organizations for outstanding contributions in maintaining coastal and ocean resources. The NOAA Excellence Awards are consistent with the CZMA goal of balancing economic growth with preservation of sensitive coastal resources.
NRG Energy operates power generating facilities worldwide. NRG’s operations include competitive energy production and cogeneration facilities, thermal energy production and energy resource recovery facilities.