BRACEVILLE, Ill. - Traveling past Braidwood and LaSalle County Generating Station it is possible for spectators to see wildlife, such as deer, wild turkeys and birds. Although these Exelon Nuclear power facilities have a great deal of security and armed forces, these animals flourish and love to live undisturbed on Exelon's property.
Acknowledging this, the Wildlife Habitat Council, recently presented both facilities with the Wildlife at Work Certification. This environmental stewardship certification was awarded to Braidwood Generating Station in Braceville, Ill. and LaSalle County Generating Station in Marseilles, Ill. for their commendable wildlife habitat management and environmental education programs at their respective sites.
"Formed as an unbridled partnership between corporations, communities and conservation organizations, the Wildlife Habitat Council exemplifies the power of collaborative conservation as the foundation of environmental stewardship," said Robert Johnson, WHC president. "Congratulations to Exelon for its commitment and contributions to wildlife habitat enhancement, community outreach, and conservation education."
This distinction was awarded to the facilities for their commitment to establishing long-term wildlife habitat enhancements that provide undisturbed habitats with food, water, cover and space for animal species living on Exelon's property.
A couple of examples Exelon has undertaken to protect animal species and promote environmental awareness at the stations include:
• Braidwood Station currently participates in the Wildlife at Work program through its fish habitat restoration project where artificial habitats are placed in the Braidwood Lake. The habitat units are designed to provide multiple benefits to largemouth bass, a favorite of Midwest fishing enthusiasts, at various stages in their life - from acting as a nursery habitat for young fish to providing feeding sites for larger, mature bass. The artificial habit program along with fish restocking efforts has greatly enhanced the fishery.
• LaSalle Station currently participates in the Wildlife at Work program through its support of LaSalle Lake Habitat maintenance and Fish Hatchery Management. Fisheries management activities have taken place for decades and the lake has been supplementally stocked with a variety of warm and cool water fish species that are raised in the on-site fish hatchery. These included largemouth and smallmouth bass, blue catfish, striped bass, bluegill and red sunfish. The lake supports a diverse fish population, provides vital habitat for birds and is important for recreation. Maintaining the quality of the habitat allows the community to benefit from the recreational opportunities and the support of local and migratory wildlife.
"We are pleased that our efforts to help wildlife near our facilities are making a difference," said Braidwood Station Site Vice President Dan Enright. "We are committed to the ensuring the continuance of healthy wildlife around our plant, just like our 100% commitment to ensuring the safe operation of Braidwood Station."
In total, nine of 10 of Exelon Nuclear's facilities have been recognized by WHC for programs that minimize impact on the environment and promote local wildlife. Other station's holding the certification include Byron Generating Station in Byron, Ill., Clinton Power Station in Clinton, Ill., Three Mile Island Generating Station in Middletown, Pa., Limerick Generation Station in Pottstown, Pa., Oyster Creek Generating Station in Lacey Township, N.J., Quad Cities Generating Station in Cordova, Ill. and Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station in Delta, Pa..
Both Braidwood and LaSalle County Station are a part of Exelon Generation's fleet of 10 nuclear power facilities.
The Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) is a nonprofit, non-lobbying organization dedicated to increasing the quality and amount of wildlife habitat on corporate, private and public lands. WHC devotes its resources to building partnerships with corporations and conservation groups to create solutions that balance the demands of economic growth with the requirements of a healthy, biodiverse and sustainable environment. WHC-assisted wildlife habitat and conservation education programs are found in 45 states, the District of Columbia and twelve other countries. To learn more, visit www.wildlifehc.org.