A large portion of Entergy's customer base and the majority of its utility infrastructure are in the Gulf Coast region, which is experiencing one of the fastest rates of wetland loss in the world, especially along Coastal Louisiana. The first line of defense to prevent further loss involves working with our communities to restore and maintain barrier islands and coastal wetlands that serve as natural protection in severe weather situations.
Our utilities own and lease 22 GW of generation, 15,700 circuit miles of transmission lines and 100,000 circuit miles of distribution lines in the southeastern United States -- an area susceptible to storms potentially made worse by coastal wetlands loss. Entergy takes into consideration the resiliency of its assets from design and construction to operations and maintenance. Activities include infrastructure investments and upgrades, participation in the Department of Energy's Partnership for Energy Sector Climate Resilience, advanced metering infrastructure, support of and participation in several community and consumer resiliency initiatives, and continued support of adaptation research and projects through Entergy's Environmental Initiatives Fund.
Since the Fund's creation in 2001, Entergy has funded a variety of creative and innovative projects, including CO2 capture and sequestration; habitat and wetland restoration; water quality, efficiency and reuse; voluntary CO2 offset purchases; community development for environmental outreach, education and demonstration; and creative environmental and energy efficiency commercialization.
Recent projects supported by the Environmental Initiatives Fund include our partnership with Tierra Resources to help restore and preserve more of Louisiana's wetlands through aerial planting of mangroves. Wetlands play a crucial role in storm protection and economic prosperity for many of our communities, and they help protect Entergy assets.
Entergy also has invested more than $1.5 million through the Restore the Earth Foundation in a landscape-scale reforestation project in the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana. Every $1 invested is estimated to generate more than $36 in environmental, social and economic value including cleaner air and water, soil stabilization, storm protection and flood control, enhanced recreational opportunities and job creation.
In 2010, Entergy sponsored a study, Building a Resilient Energy Gulf Coast report and data, regarding adaptation investments and their cost-benefit ratio with regard to avoiding damage from extreme weather. During 2017, we engaged with The Lowlander Center to revisit the 2010 study and the recommendations of community forums that were conducted in 2011 and 2012 in partnership with the America's WETLAND Foundation. Recent reports and data on businesses in coastal communities were reviewed to ascertain the impacts of previous efforts, as well as to identify additional opportunities to promote resilience. The report is available here.
We helped reforest the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge in Texas and are helping create the country's largest urban natural wildlife area in Mississippi.
Saving Wetlands: Entergy Helps Restore Chef Menteur Pass - While hurricanes and other factors are wearing away Louisiana's fragile coastal wetlands, Entergy Corporation and Ecosystem Investment Partners are helping build it back.
Entergy partnered with Tierra Resources and the local community on an innovative solution for restoring wetlands. (2017)