PPG begins wetlands creation project in Lake Charles
$10.8 million canal reroute project complete
LAKE CHARLES, La., April 9, 2009 –
|Left to right: Bill Goulet, PPG Environmental Remediation Specialist; Dean Roberts, Stream Wetland Services; David Buford, PPG Project Engineer; Mike Huber, PPG Environmental Projects Manager; and David Richard, Stream Wetland Services |
|Left to right: David Buford, PPG Wetlands Project Engineer, and Tony Davis, PPG Project Engineer |
PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) will soon begin creating wetlands along the Calcasieu River as the final phase of a project to remediate and reroute the water discharge canal at its Lake Charles facility. The initiative, which began more than a year ago, reroutes the plant’s water discharge point from Bayou d’Inde to the Calcasieu River and creates 20 acres of wetlands adjacent to the Interstate 210 bridge.
“This phase of the project will benefit wildlife and fishery habitats in the area and create approximately 20 acres of marshy wetlands,” said Jon Manns, PPG Lake Charles works manager. Thousands of commuters who cross the Interstate 210 daily will be able to experience the greening of renewed wetlands.
Dr. Harold Leggett, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, said the wetlands project is “another sign of progress for the Calcasieu Estuary.
“It’s encouraging to see PPG take matters into their own hands and work for the betterment of the environment,” Leggett said. “This new area of wetlands will go a long way to restoring the natural order of the estuary.”
The wetlands are being created through private funds, using materials dredged for the rerouting process, according to David Richard of Stream Wetland Services LLC. Richard is assisting PPG with the design and implementation of the wetlands recreation project.
“This project demonstrates the creation of vegetated wetlands that are so valuable to estuarine-dependent species of fish and wildlife in the Calcasieu Basin,” Richard said.
Stream Wetland Services Nursery Manager Dean Roberts, who oversees planting, said all the plants have been inspected and certified by the Department of Agriculture and Forestry. According to Roberts, about 20,000 plants will be planted, all of which are inspected for disease and insect infestation.
“These plants have been grown correctly and are of premium quality,” Roberts said. “A lot of time goes into this process. It’s very labor-intensive work because it involves such a harsh environment. Planting wetlands isn’t like going into someone’s front yard and doing some landscaping. It involves unique plants, unique equipment, and working in the marsh, which can be unforgiving.”
The favorable conditions for wildlife and fisheries is considered one of the greatest benefits of the project, according to PPG Environmental Projects Manager Mike Huber.
“This is a fishing community. What we’re doing will enhance the habitat in an area which is a popular fishing spot. Once mature, the marshlands will create an ideal environment for crabs and shrimp, and the tides will wash fish eggs into the area,” Huber said. He noted that the location of the marshland creates an opportunity for the public to witness PPG’s active role in environmental protection. “Wetland restoration typically happens in areas that aren’t easily viewed or easily accessible, so the PPG project provides an opportunity for the public to see what coastal restoration is all about.”
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, specialty materials, chemicals, glass and fiber glass. The company has more than 140 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries. Sales in 2008 were $15.8 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com
PPG Corporate Communications