Vulcan Materials’ Grandin Sand Plant has earned Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) Conservation Certification for its commitment to managing a 14.4-acre on-site rookery at the company’s former sand plant, in Florida. It follows a partnership with the Santa Fe Audubon Society which found that 85 species of birds and more than 3,500 birds are using the rookery, adjacent to an active construction aggregates operation, during peak season.
Additionally, Vulcan aims to preserve and protect the rookery and is working to establish formal protections through additional coordination with government agencies.
Margaret O’Gorman, president, WHC, said: “The Grandin Sand Plant is recognized as meeting the strict requirements of WHC Conservation Certification. Companies achieving WHC Conservation Certification, like Vulcan, are environmental leaders, voluntarily managing their lands to support sustainable ecosystems and the communities that surround them.”
Traci Johns, a Vulcan environmental specialist, said: “Being good environmental stewards means conducting operations in a way that ensures air, water and wildlife are protected today and for future generations. This is a great example of partnership between mining and a highly reputable citizen science group working together to achieve common goals for environmental conservation.”
Laura Berkelman, president of Santa Fe Audubon Society, said: “It is incredibly exciting to observe 2,000 spectacular birds land in front of us at such a unique site. More importantly for us is the contribution we can make to this rare refuge and breeding site. These sites are vital for the resiliency and sustainability of the remaining populations of uncommon and threatened birds. We are proud to partner with Vulcan to help this conservation project and, indirectly, the $2.7 billion wildlife-viewing industry and 44,000 jobs for our fellow Floridians while helping the birds we love. It’s gratifying to see Vulcan’s appreciation for this site.”
The former sand mining pit ceased operations in 2004.