Protecting and Preserving Nature

Most people don’t think manufacturing and nature go together. Yet six Dow sites are certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council’s Corporate Wildlife Habitat Certification Program: Pittsburg, California; Joliet, Illinois; South Charleston, West Virginia; Freeport, Texas; Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan; and Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada.

Find out how protected species are at home at our sites.

Dow Wetlands Preserve – Pittsburg, California
At the Dow Wetlands Preserve, thousands of schoolchildren each year explore the wetlands, learning about earth and water science. Chemistry and environmental science students from Los Medanos College use the wetlands as their outdoor laboratory, while volunteers from the Lindsay Wildlife Experience make use of the hack boxes we’ve built to release rehabbed raptors and barn owls into the wild.

Established in 1990, the Dow Wetlands Preserve boasts a diverse range of habitats, including freshwater ponds, mudflats and grasslands. More than 130 species of birds occupy the 472-acre preserve, including threatened birds such as the black-shouldered kite and the northern harrier. The wetlands also are home to endangered plants Mason’s lilaeopsis and Suisun marsh aster, plus the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse. Ongoing preservation and restoration efforts are provided by the Wetlands Environmental Team, which includes Dow retirees, employees and community members who volunteer to aid in enhancing grasslands, monitoring wildlife and improving nesting sites for migratory birds.

The Dow Wetlands Preserve has won several awards, including California’s 2013 Environmental Excellence Award for its effective partnerships with the Lindsay Wildlife, EarthTeam and Los Medanos College.

The Black Skimmer Nesting Ground – Dow Texas Operations
On a Saturday in June each year, our Texas Operations in Freeport opens its gates to bird watchers of all ages, so they can get a close-up look at the black skimmer colony that makes their home at our site. The day is designed to educate people about the skimmers and the importance of coastal habitat preservation. Dow Texas Operations hosts one of the largest nesting colonies of black skimmers on the U.S. Gulf Coast. What began in the 1960s as an effort among employees to protect black skimmers nesting in a parking lot has evolved to a full-scale colony of nearly 1,300 birds – among the largest colonies in Texas.

Black skimmers use their unique, flattened bills to “skim” water for meals and are considered “climate endangered” due to rising sea levels. The Gulf Coast Bird Observatory monitors the breeding colony each year in collaboration with Dow and support from the American Bird Conservancy and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Altogether, Dow Texas Operations manages 200 acres as a nature refuge. More than 350 trees and shrubs and 2,000 aquatic plants are planted at the refuge in an attempt to restore the original canopy and native plant diversity of the bottomland forest. Wildflower meadows are also seeded and managed throughout the site. In addition to wetland plantings, a constructed pond is actively managed to provide wildlife habitat. This area provides habitat for pied-billed grebes, eastern meadowlark and scissor-tailed flycatchers. A wildlife team conducts annual point counts, flora and fauna surveys, and general maintenance of the area.