June 02, 2010
Exelon Power dedicates fish passageway at Black Rock Dam
Passageway part of migratory fish restoration effort in the Schuylkill River
PHOENIXVILLE, Pennsylvania - Exelon Power today dedicated its new fish passageway at the Schuylkill River’s Black Rock Dam, which enables American shad and other migratory fish to travel feely northward past the dam.
“Migratory fish, such as the American shad, are a vital part of Pennsylvania’s natural, cultural and economic heritage,” said Doyle Beneby, president of Exelon Power. “We’re pleased to join in the effort to help preserve and restore that heritage.”
The project is the result of cooperation between Exelon Power and Chester County. Officials from the county joined executives from Exelon in the dedication ceremony.
“Chester County Parks encompass more than 4,500 acres, and in addition to providing wonderful recreational opportunities, they are also maintained and developed to preserve the natural and cultural history of Chester County,” said Chester County Commissioner Chair Carol Aichele. “The opportunity to partner with companies, like Exelon to restore this fish ladder, helps Chester County to step-up the preservation program for the benefit of all.”
In 2008, Exelon Power opened a similar fish passageway further south on the Schuylkill River at the Norristown Dam. These passageways are Exelon’s contribution to a larger effort to restore migratory fish species to a 100-mile stretch of the Schuylkill River, north of Philadelphia. “For the first time in nearly 200 years, American shad and other migratory fish will have an easier time navigating the Schuylkill River because of this effort,” said Beneby.
Construction on Black Rock began in February 2008 and was completed in the spring of 2009 in time for the shad migration. The design of the passageway incorporates some of the existing historical materials used in construction of a lock and canal system that was built in the early 1800s. Exelon Power has installed camera systems at the passage that are used for counting the shad and other species that use the passage.
“Today’s dedication of the fish ladder at Black Rock Sanctuary is a great example of the many ways that our parks and recreation staff focus on the habitats of all our park locations, from the preservation of the Serpentine Barrens at Nottingham County Park, to the inclusion of native vegetation that provides a safe haven for many species of wading birds at Hibernia Park’s Chambers Lake,” added Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone. “A special thanks goes out to all of our Chester County Parks & Recreation staff who maintain and manage these natural habitats.”
Exelon has been working for more than 35 years to restore American shad in Pennsylvania. Fish lifts installed at the company’s Conowingo Hydroelectric Station on the Susquehanna River have been operating since 1972, helping more than one million American shad travel upriver.
Exelon Corporation is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities with approximately $17 billion in annual revenues. The company has one of the industry’s largest portfolios of electricity generation capacity, with a nationwide reach and strong positions in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Exelon distributes electricity to approximately 5.4 million customers in northern Illinois and southeastern Pennsylvania and natural gas to approximately 486,000 customers in the Philadelphia area. Exelon is headquartered in Chicago and trades on the NYSE under the ticker EXC.