BALTIMORE (November 30, 2017) – Members of Baltimore Gas and Electric’s (BGE) Osprey Watch program today presented the Phoenix Wildlife Center in Phoenix, Md., with a $10,000 donation. The contribution was made possible by Exelon’s selection of BGE’s Osprey Watch program as a grand prize winner in the annual Exelon Environmental Achievement Awards. Winning project teams selected from Exelon companies nationwide directed their $10,000 awards to organizations making positive environmental impacts.
“It really makes my heart soar to be the recipient of this grant,” said Kathleen Woods, founder and director of the Phoenix Wildlife Center. “We’ve been steadily working on our wildlife protection mission for 17 years, and this is fabulous recognition at a time when we need it most.”
The BGE Osprey Watch team, which focuses on preventing ospreys from being injured and causing power outages when they nest on electric equipment, selected the Phoenix Wildlife Center to help support the organization’s work to rehabilitate injured wildlife. The center rehabilitates more than 1,500 injured or orphaned native Maryland wild animals annually since full-time operations began in 2000. Funded largely through individual donations, the center also provides wildlife educational programs and curriculum at schools throughout Baltimore County.
“On behalf of everyone at BGE who has worked on Osprey Watch, we’re extremely proud to be part of a project that protects Maryland wildlife, supports a local environmental nonprofit as worthy as the Phoenix Wildlife Center, and helps improve service for our customers,” said Greg Kappler, principal environmental scientist for BGE and a member of the Osprey Watch team.
“It’s gratifying to know we are empowered by Exelon to think innovatively about how we can make a difference in improving the environment in the communities we serve.”
Since 2016, BGE’s Osprey Watch has removed or shielded more than 40 nests from poles and other service equipment. The program uses the power of crowd sourcing, using customer reports of nests on electric equipment through OspreyWatch@bge.com to supplement the company’s own inspections. Once a nest is reported, BGE removes the nest if no birds or eggs are present. Nests are relocated where possible. If a nest is inhabited, deterrents are placed on the electric equipment to shield the birds and nests and mitigate the risk of electric contact.
In addition to its environmental benefits, Osprey Watch helps improve the reliability of electric service for customers. Expectations are that for 2017, BGE customers will have experienced the fewest outages on record and when outages did occur, BGE restored power faster than at most times in the company’s history. While outages are caused by a wide range of factors including weather and wildlife, BGE is focused on reducing all potential causes through investment in infrastructure upgrades, enhanced maintenance and innovative programs like Osprey Watch.
The annual Exelon Environmental Achievement Awards are a reflection of the company’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. Exelon is the number one zero-carbon energy provider in America and the company has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 12 consecutive years.