MAYS LANDING, N.J. — Atlantic
City Electric (ACE), in collaboration with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey,
recently held an Avian
Protection Educational Event to promote a better understanding of how Atlantic
City Electric helps protect birds and other animals, while also helping improve
electric service reliability for customers.
ACE environmental scientists Cristina Frank
and Mike Garrity detailed the various types of migratory and breeding birds
that may perch or nest on power lines, including ospreys, which frequently nest
on utility poles. They discussed various types of devices placed on wires and
other infrastructure designed to minimize the risk of birds and other wildlife
from coming in contact with electric wires and equipment.
“Hundreds of thousands of birds migrate through
Cape May County each year,” said Cristina Frank, lead environmental scientist,
Atlantic City Electric and head of the company’s Avian Protection Program. “We
conduct field studies to determine areas throughout Cape May County and our
entire service territory to determine which areas are of the greatest risk to
birds and other wildlife.”
ACE senior supervising engineer Ed Kaminski
explained how avian protection is an integral part of the design phase before
constructing any new infrastructure projects or upgrading existing
“We are in constant communication with our
environmental team, and, when necessary, we’ll enhance our infrastructure to
minimize the risk to birds while helping reduce the number of related power
outages to create a more reliable electric system for customers,” Kaminski said.
Atlantic City Electric recently completed
infrastructure enhancements in Cape May, Ocean City and Strathmere, N.J., that
addressed risks to avian wildlife. As a result, the company has not seen any bird-related
incidents since in these areas.
Also as part of the event, Ben Wurst, a wildlife biologist with the
Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, discussed the foundation’s role in
helping manage and protect ospreys through man-made nesting platforms that
provide a safer nesting alternative than utility poles. ACE partners with
Conserve Wildlife to identify and address risks to birds throughout its service
Birds routinely use power line poles and
towers as perches to establish territorial boundaries, nest, hunt, rest, find
shade and feed. Utility poles often provide perching or nesting opportunities
in areas where few natural perches or nest sites can be found. If the
configuration and location of utility structures are in areas where birds are
attracted by favorable habitat or are in a migratory path, the chance of
electrocution and/or collisions increase.
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