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.
Ecosystem Conservation Initiatives
- Cove Point Beach Restoration. In cooperation with various regulatory, environmental and community groups, Dominion helped rebuild a buffer zone separating the Chesapeake Bay and a freshwater marsh using native grasses and plants. (See related video).
- Roanoke River Fish Restoration. Dominion is involved in a long term study of “diadromous” fish populations in the Roanoke River, North Carolina. Diadromous fish, such as American Shad and Striped Bass, live in the ocean and return to freshwater rivers to spawn; or like American Eels, they live in rivers and migrate to the ocean to spawn.
As the owner of hydroelectric dams on the Roanoke River, Dominion works with state and federal agencies to assess and implement programs designed to support these fish populations.
- Cove Point Reef Enhancement. Offshore from Dominion’s Cove Point LNG facility, the company is deploying concrete debris to enhance an artificial reef. We are also planning to restore an area in the Patuxent River, which includes planting a minimum of 4 acres of oysters (shell on spat) – equivalent to about 17,600 bushels of oyster shell.
- Clover Open Space Easement. At the company’s Clover Power Station in Halifax County, Va., Dominion has partnered with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to set aside about 400 acres of land surrounding the station. The area is jointly managed to protect its value as a conservation site for fish and wildlife and wetlands habitat.
- Lake Gaston Waterfowl Management Area. Dominion manages a 114-acre site in the northwestern section of Lake Gaston, N.C., as a migratory waterfowl area by controlling the lake’s water level, seeding the area with vegetation and controlling invasive species. The company developed this wetland area in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Ducks Unlimited and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
Avian 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. Avian Protection Areas within Dominion’s service territory have been established to include the adoption of new construction standards to protect migratory birds within these areas. The company is also expanding its avian protection areas.
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.
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 been a long-time supporter of the Natural Heritage Program of the Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation. The program is intended to preserve the state’s biodiversity through inventory, ecosystem protection and stewardship. Dominion has teamed with the VDCR to conduct surveys of “Threatened and Endangered” (T&E) plants and other rare plants found in open-canopy environments located on the company’s electric transmission and distribution rights-of-way.
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 partnered 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, including the Chesapeake Bay blue crab and the Lynnhaven oyster.
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
- Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
- The National Audubon Society
- United States Fish and Wildlife Service
- National Marine Fisheries Service
- The Center for Conservation Biology
- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
- Trout Unlimited
- The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
- 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)
- North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
- West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection