Biodiversity & Habitat Protection
The protection of species and habitats on the lands, rights-of-way, and waterways around our facilities is an integral part of Dominion’s commitment to responsible environmental stewardship.
Avian and Wildlife Protection
Dominion’s avian and wildlife protection program is widely regarded as one of the industry’s best. We have received several National Conservation Service Awards from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for our efforts to protect birds from adverse power line impacts.
Dominion was one of the original parties of APLIC (Avian Powerline Interaction Committee), a global leader in providing guidance to utilities on minimizing harm to bird populations. These guidelines help reduce costly power outages while also providing compliance with laws protecting birds.
Some other examples of our ecosystem conservation initiatives and partnerships include the following:
- Great Blue Heron Rookery. Dominion and the Audubon Society have partnered to create the Great Blue Heron Rookery, a unique natural wonder in the middle of metropolitan Richmond, Va. Birdwatchers can observe the herons’ courtship behaviors, nest-building and child-rearing habits from a city park or online at the Rookery website.
- Dominion Reef at the Gooses. We collaborated with about 50 other supporters of the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative (MARI) to enhance marine ecosystems and pave the way for widespread restoration efforts that are benefiting sea grasses, oysters, crabs, sea ducks and other forms of marine life throughout the Chesapeake Bay. Dominion provided more than $250,000 to fund an oyster and shell seeding project over portions of an 80-acre, man-made reef.
- The Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership. Dominion is collaborating with other private companies, governmental agencies and NGOs in an innovative initiative to preserve, restore and protect aquatic habitats in Massachusetts, including salt marshes, coastal fish runs, rivers, lakes and freshwater wetlands.
Dominion works with the Keystone Elk Country Alliance and the Pennsylvania Game Commission to help create safe havens and grazing areas for the elk and deer, which has resulted in a tripling of the herds. We also host an annual “elk tour” for state legislators to showcase the project. The tour is held in conjunction with a Dominion employee volunteer workday in support of various elk conservation projects in the area.
Rare Plant Protection
Dominion has collaborated with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Natural Heritage Department to identify and protect colonies of rare plants on its various rights-of-way. To date, more than 60 sites containing rare plants have been noted and specific management plans adopted to protect the sites.
Beginning in 2012, GIS coordinates for threatened and endangered plant species will be catalogued and mapped for even more focused rights-of-way management activities.
Dominion donated 477 acres of unique ecological habitat called Bear Rocks to The Nature Conservancy of West Virginia. The land, located adjacent to the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area, will be used in perpetuity for conservation purposes.
We are also partnering with The Public Land Trust to purchase and preserve a 122-acre waterfront area near Virginia Beach, Va., called Pleasure House Point. The area provides rare public green space and the opportunity to experience shoreline habitat, wetlands and maritime forest that is home to many species of birds and marine life.
A partial list of the many governmental agencies, environmental groups and other NGOs that we partner with to conserve natural resources includes:
- The Nature Conservancy
- The National Audubon Society
- The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
- Trout Unlimited
- The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
- The Pennsylvania Game Commission
- The Maryland Conservation Council
- The James River Association
- The Niantic River Watershed Committee (Connecticut)
- The Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership