For Immediate Release
866-655-2237 (media hotline)
NEWARK, Del. (June 21, 2021) – Delmarva Power and its five sister Exelon utilities join fellow environmentally conscious organizations all over the world in celebration of Pollinator Week, an international effort from June 21-27, 2021, to raise awareness about the urgent need to address declining pollinator populations and promote their valuable contributions to the ecosystem.
Supporting pollinator habitats and biodiversity is an integral part of Delmarva Power's operations, with an emphasis on transforming transmission rights-of-way throughout its service area in Delaware and Maryland into a more welcoming place for pollinators to live. Delmarva Power actively manages 2,826 acres of rights-of-way using Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) to improve wildlife habitats and has a goal to increase that number to 3,334 acres by 2028. IVM also encourages the growth of compatible low growing native shrubs and grass, lowers Delmarva Power's carbon footprint because it requires less mowing, and improves water quality within local waterways.
"Pollinators are essential to preserving a healthy ecosystem and we are committed to expanding and protecting the habitats where they live and breed," said Sam Williams, Pepco Holdings vice president, Support Service, which includes Delmarva Power. "We have a responsibility to protect wildlife, including pollinators. Strategies to protect these habitats as part of the energy work we do are a key opportunity for us to improve the environment we all share."
Most flowering plants and staple crops rely on animal pollinators for reproduction. Bees, butterflies, birds, and more than 200,000 other pollinator species are responsible for one out of every three bites of food you eat and $20 billion worth of products annually in the United States. But pollinators face a growing threat of habitat loss as native vegetation is replaced by roadways, monoculture, and non-native plants, and their well-being is further threatened by humans' overuse of pesticides and by climate change. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists dozens of critical pollinators as endangered or threatened.
In 2020, Delmarva Power partnered with Dewey Beach Lions Club to obtain certification under Wildlife Habitat Council's Conservation Certification program for a wetland site located within a Delmarva Power distribution right-of-way. The 1-acre site located on Rehoboth Bay was restored in 2010 from a disturbed drainage area to a thriving tidal wetland. A natural berm with pollinator-friendly buffer plantings was installed in 2018 to help control storm water runoff adjacent to the wetland. While one of Delmarva Power rights-of-way are certified by the National Wildlife Federation and the Wildlife Habitat Council, four other company sites across Pepco Holdings, which includes Delmarva Power, also hold these certifications for being welcoming to pollinators and other wildlife.
As owners and managers of tens of thousands of acres of land, Exelon's utilities—Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva Power, PECO, and Pepco—are uniquely positioned to be leaders of pollinator stewardship. Earlier this year, ComEd applied for a binding Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the monarch butterfly. Pepco, Atlantic City Electric, Delmarva Power and BGE are also applying for CCAAs. Delmarva Power would pledge under its CCAA to convert 18 percent of transmission right-of-way to pollinator habitat specifically to protect the monarch, which is threatened so significantly it is a candidate to be listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Exelon's corporate Biodiversity and Habitat Policy ensures its operating companies pursue other important pollinator-friendly strategies. For example, higher diversity seed mixes are used in vegetation restoration efforts, employees have access to educational resources about pollinators, and community pollinator initiatives are supported through partnerships with nonprofits and regulatory agencies.
Pollinator Week is organized by Pollinator Partnership, the largest nonprofit organization in the world dedicated exclusively to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems.
More information about Pollinator Week, including how you can get involved, is available at pollinator.org.
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