Submitted by: Public Service Enterprise Group
Posted: Jul 14, 2008 – 11:47 AM EST
Jul. 14 /CSRwire/ - NEWARK, N.J., July 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- 'If you build it; they will come.' That was the hope when a group of PSEG volunteers dedicated to restoring the Hackensack River Watershed's ecosystem, along with Jersey City students, erected six osprey nesting platforms at the Hudson generating station. Now, following a 50-year absence, an osprey pair has nested at the Hudson plant for the second consecutive year and three fledglings recently hatched.
"I never cease to be amazed by the recovery of the river and the ability of species to return to it," said Captain Bill Sheehan, the Hackensack Riverkeeper. "I suspect that this pair of ospreys is just the beginning of what will eventually be a colony reestablished here in the Meadowlands."
Ospreys feed exclusively on live fish and serve as an "indicator species" regarding the health of the local fish population. The return of these birds near the top of the food chain, after decades of absence, is a sign that the watershed's ecosystem is bouncing back.
"The fact that an apex predator has returned to the Meadowlands is proof positive that the region's recovery is continuing," said Hugh Carola, Land Trust Director of The Fyke Nature Association. "It's also proof that such wildlife can coexist with us -- especially when they're given the room they need."
PSEG operates three power plants -- Bergen, Hudson and Kearny -- along the Hackensack River. For decades, PSEG has taken proactive steps to minimize its impact on the river and other watershed areas in New Jersey. This spring high-tech traveling screens were installed at the Hudson plant to safely return to the river fish, crabs and other aquatic life drawn onto the screens by the cooling water flow.
"This project shows that business and environmental advocates can successfully work together," said Mark Strickland, PSEG Fossil's director of environmental affairs. "The return of the osprey is a sign the watershed is recuperating as a viable resource, which is in everyone's interest."
PSEG Power, one of the nation's largest independent power producers, is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG/NYSE: PEG), a diversified energy holding company. PSEG's other primary subsidiaries are Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), New Jersey's oldest and largest energy distribution utility company, and PSEG Energy Holdings, a holding company for other non-regulated businesses.
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