Results and Accomplishments
Based on the knowledge that common terns prefer to nest in riverine gravel beds, DTE Energy’s Trenton Channel Power Plant donated crushed limestone for use in constructing artificial tern habitat. Together with the Trenton Green Team, project partners established an artificial nesting island around a bridge pylon in the Detroit River. When the bridge was constructed, large boulders were placed near the bridge footings to protect it from boats passing by. Gravel was transported on a barge from the plant and spread over these boulders.
In 2004, during the first nesting season, students from Southgate Anderson High School and volunteers from the Detroit Audubon Society collected blood samples for analyses and banded approximately 60 chicks. The second nesting season in 2005 showed that 180 pairs of common terns made the island home and more than 100 chicks successfully fledged. “This is an excellent example of how industry, local government, conservation groups and individuals can come together to create a project that will have lasting benefits far into the future,” said Robert Burns, Detroit Riverkeeper, Friends of the Detroit River.
The Trenton Channel Power Plant and associated Sibley Quarry also established a certified habitat program through the Wildlife Habitat Council serving as a role model for the surrounding community and business neighbors. For these efforts, DTE Energy and its employees were honored with the Wildlife Habitat Council’s prestigious 2004 Corporate Habitat of the Year award for excellence in the areas of voluntary wildlife habitat enhancement and restoration.
“We have an obligation to enhance the quality of life for today’s society and for generations to come. At DTE Energy, we believe that protecting the environment begins in our own backyard. We appreciate the work of the Wildlife Habitat Council as they advise us in managing our “backyards” to benefit wildlife," said Anthony F. Earley, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive, DTE Energy.