The Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) visited the Dow Wetlands Preserve recently to present The Dow Chemical Company with a new designation the Signature of Sustainability.
Dow purchased the 472-acre wetlands property in 1989 and, with an all-volunteer team of employees, retirees and community members, has cleaned up, restored and improved the habitat to create a living laboratory for students of all ages. In addition to its educational value, the Dow Wetlands is also home to more than 130 species of birds, serves as an important resting spot on the migratory route and is home to an increasing number of river otters, beavers and the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse, an endangered species.
The wetlands has drawn attention from corporations and environmentalists around the world: it was the focus of a Japan National Trust Summit on Corporate Social Responsibility and, in late April, was the site of an event featuring environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau.
The Signature of Sustainability is a habitat program that demonstrates the potential of private sector involvement for biodiversity conservation and environmental education. Each Signature of Sustainability is unique, but all go above and beyond certification standards for Wildlife at Work. Programs are selected by a Blue Ribbon Committee of judges and points are awarded for environmental education, habitat enhancement and community involvement.
These Signatures of Sustainability make the communities around them a better place for both biodiversity and learners of all ages, and represent the very highest standards for a WHC program, said WHC President Robert Johnson. We hope the Signatures of Sustainability will inspire even greater engagement by companies in voluntary actions for the conservation of biodiversity.
Marcia Maslonek, a vice president with the Wildlife Habitat Council, was on hand to personally deliver the plaque. Standing atop the viewing platform at the Wetlands, she explained that, though there are hundreds of certified habitats across the country, less than three dozen qualified for this recognition. These Signatures of Sustainability were chosen as the best of the best, she said.
Krist Jensen, leader of the Dow Wetlands Team, accepted the plaque on behalf of Dow. Our focus from Day One has always been to share this beautiful resource with the community, said Jensen. We've partnered with schools and other organizations to utilize it as an education tool. This is how students learn about our native animals, how the ecosystem works, how what we do impacts the environment and more. Our partnerships with Lindsay Wildlife Museum, Los Medanos College, UC Berkeley, EarthTeam and others help us to spread that message and are key to the success of the Dow Wetlands Preserve as a Land for Learning.