Titan Florida, a subsidiary of Titan America, presented a case study at last month’s Wildlife Habitat Council’s Annual Symposium celebrating corporate conservation.
Muhammad Khan, environmental manager at Titan Florida’s Pennsuco plant, presented, “Titan Florida’s Ecological Restoration,” to attendees at the Hilton Baltimore. The case study discussed the plant’s three-year project to combat an invasive plant species.
In the 1940s, the Corps of Engineers planted what they believed were harmless Melaleuca trees in and around the campus of the present-day Pennsuco plant. In 1999, the tree was determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be an invasive species. The Pennsuco plant had no choice but to salvage the current and soon-to-be native trees by eradicating the Melaleuca trees.
In 2010 a team of Titan environmental employees and a local biologist began the project and within three years there was less than 1 percent Melaleuca trees coverage. Native trees like Gumbo Limbo, Live Oak and Red Maple were planted and are now thriving on the Pennsuco campus. “It was a hard fight to reverse the spread of the invasive species but the results are most gratifying,” said Khan, who led the effort.
Fifty acres of land has been mitigated for this project, including an Upland Tree Island that includes native trees spread over 3,000 sq. ft. The campus now accommodates various birds including Cattle Egret, Bald Eagle, Wood Stork, White Ibis and Flamingo. There is also a family of Otters enjoying the nearby waterways as well.
This isn’t the first time the Pennsuco complex was highlighted by the Wildlife Habitat Council. The complex received international recognition for its contributions to conservation education at last year’s symposium. Pennsuco received the Corporate Lands for Learning certification. The WHC's Corporate Wildlife Habitat Certification/International Accreditation Program recognizes commendable wildlife habitat management and environmental education programs at individual sites.