O&G Industries, one of the country’s Top 400 Contractors, was recently presented with a 2017 Sustainability Award by the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association for the construction of a brown bat hibernaculum at the company's New Milford Quarry.
The hibernaculum was constructed in hopes of preserving a population of bats who overwinter there, while protecting them from "white-nose syndrome" - a disease that has been wiping our large populations of bats as they hibernate for the winter. According to the Department of Energy and Environment Protection (DEEP), the New Milford Quarry is currently one of the few disease-free habitat's that remains in the State.
The new habitat is a 40 foot long tunnel into limestone measuring six feet high and seven feet wide that runs into an underground chamber that is 17 feet wide, 10 feet deep and 15 feet high.
O&G's director of planning and permits Ken Faroni stated: "Although our mining operations won't reach the current habitat for another decade, we felt it was important to be proactive. The sooner we built the new habitat the sooner the bats may discover it. In fact, one bat was identified in the newly constructed hibernaculum in December 2017."
"It's a tremendous help for us and our conservation efforts for species that are declining as fast as our bats are, to have a partner like O&G step up and help" stated Jenny Dickson, Supervising Biologist for DEEP's Wildlife Division. "What O&G is doing is critically important to conservation of numerous bat species as they try to recover from the syndrome."
O&G completed project in July of 2016.