On October 14, 2014 the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) hosted New Jersey Audubon’s Corporate Stewardship Council’s (CSC) annual meeting at their offices in Trenton. The meeting was presided over by CSC Co-Chairmen, Mr. Ralph LaRossa, President of Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) and Mr. Keith Campbell, Chairman of the Board of Mannington Mills, Inc. In attendance was NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin who commended members of the Council for another highly successful year and their commitment to ecological sustainability. Commissioner Martin also reiterated the importance of the CSC initiative that affords the private sector an opportunity to take leadership roles in conservation stewardship that provides habitat restoration projects that benefit wildlife species all over the State.
The Corporate Stewardship Council (CSC) is a unique group of 19 New Jersey companies united behind a common goal of environmental sustainability and responsibility. Member companies include co-chairs PSEG and Mannington Mills, as well as Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, DuPont, Atlantic City Electric, JCP&L, United Water, New Jersey American Water, New Jersey Natural Gas, Eagle Ridge Golf Club, Merck, Eastern Propane, South Jersey Gas, Trump National Golf Club-Bedminster, Covanta Energy, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance, Pfizer and Pine Island Cranberry Company Inc. Ex-officio CSC members are the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
Each member company works closely with Stewardship Department staff at New Jersey Audubon to evaluate habitat restoration or enhancement potential on its property or affiliated sites. Once identified, they work together to develop and implement a conservation plan intended to improve upon existing conditions and enhance or restore habitat for wildlife and plants. In many cases, work is done specifically for the benefit of threatened or endangered species.
“What separates the NJ Audubon CSC from other habitat restoration or certification programs for big business is that the CSC requires members to perform the necessary stewardship work long after the initial restoration or enhancement activities are performed,” said NJ Audubon Stewardship Project Director John Parke “ It is only trough the continued stewardship of the projects that meaningful results can be obtained”.
Ecological restoration and stewardship of those restored lands are endeavors of public concern, even if it is conducted on privately owned land without public expenditure. A restored ecosystem that is maintained over time provides beneficial natural services well beyond property boundaries. We depend on ecological goods and services everyday for our health, social, cultural, and economic needs. Ecological functions are the base resources that sustain our lives. The sustainability of communities and economies depends upon our ability to restore and steward the ecological functions of our landscapes for future generations, and the members of the CSC are doing just that through their projects.
To see current summary information regarding individual CSC Member Projects go to: http://www.njaudubon.org/Portals/10/Conservation/PDF/2014CSCBrochure.pdf