- PSE&G employees present wood duck boxes to be installed at Ash Brook Reservation. L-R: Betty Ann Kelly, Union County Division of Park Planning & Environmental Services; Jeff Holbrook, PSE&G; Mike Panos, Ducks Unlimited; Isabel Goncalves-Rooney, PSE&G; Tom Brauchle, PSE&G; Marc Grobman, Union County Adopt-A-Trail steward – Fanwood; and Daniel Bernier, Union County director of the Division of Park Planning and Environmental Services.
photo by Rich Dwyer
Wood ducks now have a safer place to nest thanks to members of the Public Service Electricity & Gas Environmental (PSE&G) Partnership Team. The team constructed wood duck boxes that were recently installed in the Ash Brook Reservation, an environmental sanctuary that encompasses more than 1 square mile in Clark and Scotch Plains. The sanctuary is adjacent to PSE&G's North Central Reliability Project electric transmission right-of-way.
"The installation of wood duck boxes is one example of how PSE&G is helping endangered or threatened species survive and thrive," said Isabel Goncalves-Rooney, senior project manager.
For the past decade, the team has worked with Ducks Unlimited, the world's leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation, build more than 100 wood duck nesting boxes. Thanks to these boxes, the once-near-extinct wood ducks are now estimated to number between 2-4 million, with as many as 300,000 ducklings reared in these handmade shelters each year.
Protecting the environment and wildlife has always been a top priority for PSE&G, whether repairing equipment on a utility pole or upgrading a transmission line as part of the North Central Reliability Project.
"We take our responsibility to provide safe, reliable electric service very seriously, and we take our commitment to construct transmission projects in an environmentally responsible way just as seriously," explained Tom Brauchle, PSE&G director of projects. "When we learned we could help improve the wildlife habitat in Ash Brook Reservation while upgrading our transmission system, we looked for an opportunity to partner with a group that could help us do that. Ducks Unlimited was a natural choice. Our partnership is an excellent example of how infrastructure and nature can successfully co-exist and be a win for everyone involved—even our feathered friends."
-- Deann Muzikar