Duke Energy: Preserving Land and Wildlife
Duke Energy, a leading energy company based in Charlotte, NC, is working with state and federal agencies to preserve wildlife habitats and nesting grounds throughout its service areas.
Wildlife and Industry Together
Wildlife and Industry Together (WAIT) pairs companies with volunteers and community groups to develop company land into natural habitat. This program has resulted in successful certifications of over 20 sites in the Carolinas.
By planting native plants, shrubs and trees, volunteers enable the natural habitat to flourish and provide a home for wildlife. Projects include building bluebird boxes or adding butterfly gardens. These natural habitats also provide a cost effective land utilization plan and an educational tool to use with numerous community groups.
The program was started by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation Endowment and Education Fund, North Carolina Wildlife Federation, and a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to provide new homes for native wildlife. Seven of our generating stations in North Carolina and South Carolina are certified WAIT sites—Buck Steam Station, Riverbend Steam Station, Lincoln Combustion Turbine Station, Bad Creek Hydro Station, McGuire Nuclear Station, Oconee Nuclear Station and Catawba Nuclear Station.
2007 marks the eighth consecutive year that peregrine falcons have returned to nest at Duke Energy’s Miami Fort Station in North Bend, Ohio. Since 1997, 38 eggs have been laid and 27 successfully hatched by three different sets of falcons.
The Miami Fort Station project to attract Peregrine Falcons began in 1993 when employees built and installed a nesting box on the east side of Unit 8 stack, about 400 feet above ground level. Peregrine falcons were still on the endangered species list at that time. Peregrines prefer a habitat with tall cliffs that provide a clear view of the surroundings for hunting. A nearby source of water also helps to attract small prey for the birds to feed. The tall unit stacks at Miami Fort Station and location on the Ohio River provide an ideal nesting site for the birds. Designs for the nesting box came from the Raptor Resource Project in Minnesota.
Duke Energy works with various state and federal agencies throughout its service area to help protect threatened species by managing the company’s assets to encourage precious habitats and nesting.
Duke Energy helped the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reintroduce the bald eagle to the state. An active bald eagle nest is located at the Gibson Generating Station in Gibson County, Indiana and near the Wabash River Generating Station in Vigo County, Indiana. In addition, there are two active bald eagle nests near the Cayuga Generating Station in Vermillion County, Indiana. Duke Energy personnel work in collaboration with the DNR to monitor and evaluate endangered species found on or near its properties.
The public is invited to attend Duke Energy’s annual eagle viewing days at the Cayuga Station. Most years, the area around Cayuga Station hosts the largest concentration of mid-winter migratory bald eagles in Indiana. More than 16,000 visitors have attended over the past 11 years. (www.dukeenergy.com)