“The wetlands included 22 plant species key to the nutrient removal process,” said Greg Ray, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing, PM USA. “We included more than 150,000 plants, like water lily, pickerelweed and soft stem bulrush, along with hundreds of native shrubs and nearly 1,300 hardwood and evergreen trees serving as a riparian buffer. Our wetlands serve as the finishing phase to our waste treatment water and harness nature to reduce nutrient discharge and the environmental impact on the James and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.” Global Water Intelligence recognized this innovative wastewater treatment approach as a finalist for the 2010 Industrial Water Project of the Year.
Today, the wetlands are a learning laboratory. Students and environmental researchers can see state-of-the art sustainability projects in an industrial setting and observe wildlife, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects repopulating the area.