Habitats for Biodiversity
Orange & Rockland (O&R) is committed to a sustainable and biodiverse ecosystem. Moreover, we're excited to contribute to the creation, enhancement, and re-establishment of native habitat throughout our service territory.
We understand that a native and ecologically diverse habitat is an important component in combatting climate change. These areas also serve as important habitats for insects, pollinating animals, avian species, reptiles and amphibians, and mammals. A diverse habitat is also essential in creating healthy soils and improving the watershed, as well as the sequestering (removing) of carbon and other greenhouse gases. We're therefore committed to continuing this journey.
Increase Plant Diversity and Abundance
A species-rich and abundant plant community is essential in providing habitat for a plethora of wildlife species, including the endangered, threatened, and rare species throughout our service territory. O&R has began converting regularly mowed lawn areas to native meadow and prairie habitat at its facility locations. Additionally, we've been restoring and/or enhancing many electric and gas right-of-way areas with native species, post-construction. We're landscaping new or modified substations with native species, and are establishing areas with native species instead of open lawn areas, meadows, scrub-shrub, and forested areas.
Establish Artificial Nesting Habitat
The installation and maintenance of artificial housing areas is an important component of creating and/or enhancing suitable habitat for wildlife. We're excited to have embarked on this effort. We're installing nesting boxes for grassland and woodland birds, raptors, owls, solitary bees, and bats at our facilities, substations, and within our right-of-ways.
The construction of microhabitats is an exciting and worthwhile endeavor during the post-construction restoration phase of our projects. Often, onsite debris, such as trees and boulders, are used to create microhabitat for animals. Large boulders have been used to establish reptilian basking areas, while logs are most often used as salamander habitat.
Site and Manage Projects
O&R must frequently maintain and/or upgrade transmission and distribution poles and structures, substations, gas mains, and other facilities to ensure the supply of reliable and safe electric and gas for all customers. However, these areas are often rich with important habitats and associated wildlife species. As a result, we proactively site and manage our projects to eliminate, reduce, and/or minimize our impact on the environment to the maximum extent practical. We accomplish this by completing wetland and habitat studies, species-specific wildlife studies, and by coordinating with local, state, and federal agencies. We provide collected data to state and federal agencies, which is used for mapping, planning, and conservation-related regulations moving forward.
O&R understands that the most important component of conservation is awareness. Awareness of the importance of native plants, animals, and their habitats is critical. We regularly engage our staff and customers through the implementation of frequent learning opportunities, education and awareness training, informational signage, and programs.
*Full Description of Our Numbers:
– Quantity of Projects with Native Creation, Enhancement, and/or Re-establishment: +18
– Quantity of Native Plant Seeds Spread: +891,500,000 Seeds
– Quantity of Milkweed Seed Spread: +531,880
– Quantity of Artificial Houses (Installed/Planned): +45