Jersey Central Power and Light, the electric utility that services Monmouth County, announced today that they have expanded an environmental program to help protect New Jersey’s threatened ospreys.
The company is surveying their poles and other equipment to determine where osprey are nesting—or have given indication of future nesting–and then building new nesting platforms where the birds will not be in danger due to the proximity to electrical equipment. Specialized equipment is installed to divert and discourage ospreys from nesting in potentially hazardous locations.
Two osprey nests within JCP&L’s Monmouth and Ocean service territories, one in Union Beach and another in Brick, were relocated in 2016.
“This program showcases JCP&L’s commitment to protecting ospreys and other nesting raptors while also taking steps to help ensure the reliability of our electric system,” said Tony Hurley, JCP&L vice president of operations. “In the past, we successfully relocated one or two osprey nests. With this expanded initiative, our goal is to move as many nests as possible before birds are injured or it causes a service interruption for customers.”
“As the osprey population continues to grow, we appreciate the proactive protection work being done by JCP&L,” said Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. “To an osprey, a utility pole near the coast seems like an ideal spot to perch or build a nest, but it could jeopardize their health. This comprehensive JCP&L program will help ospreys coexist with the demands of our modern society.”
The company’s plans in 2017 include:
- Moving nests on transmission structures in Ocean Township and Oceanport in Monmouth County
- Removing nesting materials and placing nesting deterrents on a distribution structure in Brick Township, Ocean County
- Moving nests on distribution structures in Oceanport, Monmouth Beach and Spring Lake Heights in Monmouth County
- Moving a nest on a distribution structure in Bayville, Ocean County
In addition to focusing on ospreys, JCP&L’s previous avian protection efforts included setting nesting boxes and the banding of endangered American Kestrels.