Hello Skunk Cabbage, Goodbye Barberry
April 19, 2012 at 17:55 PM EDT
After acquiring and bringing a small failing wastewater system in the Pottersville section of Tewksbury into environmental compliance, New Jersey American Water went a step further. The company used the site of the new facility as its first habitat restoration project in partnership with the New Jersey Audubon's Corporate Stewardship Council and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The project focused on controlling the invasive vegetation that had, over years, overrun an area adjacent to the Lamington River, which the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) had designated as a Category One Waterway because of its ecological importance.
Working with NJ Audubon and USFWS, the company completed an extensive removal of invasive non-native vegetation that was crowding out native plants. Company employees then worked with volunteers and USFWS and NJ Audubon staffs to plant more than 800 native trees and shrubs on the site. All this was completed just in time for the spring migration. Ultimately this habitat improvement will benefit migratory birds and other wildlife by providing critical foraging and breeding areas.
“We are committed to delivering innovative and environmental friendly solutions to better serve our customers - whether it is the treatment of wastewater or restoring an environmentally sensitive site. The work we’ve done with NJ Audubon and USFWS at our Pottersville Wastewater Treatment Plant is an example of such commitment,” said Suzanne Chiavari, vice president of engineering at New Jersey American Water.
“This project provides a great example of how a corporate landowner can take the initiative to improve wildlife habitat through relatively simple voluntary restoration measures and through partnering,” said Brian Marsh, private lands biologist, USFWS. "The USFWS commends New Jersey American Water for their interest in partnering to restore wildlife habitat and hopes their efforts will motivate other landowners to perform similar measures."
The habitat restoration at the Pottersville facility is also the same location that was recognized by the DEP in 2011 for New Jersey American Water's voluntary and proactive measures taken to go beyond compliance in an effort to improve the environment and ensure a sustainable future, which included a $3 million upgrade of the wastewater facility.
Editors Note: Pictures of the replanting at Pottersville are available at the New Jersey American Water Facebook page Photos section, which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/NewJerseyAmericanWater#!/NewJerseyAmericanWater/photos.
New Jersey American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE:AWK) is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.5 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15 million people in more than 30 states, as well as parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.