After being hit with over $80,000 in fines for polluting state waterways, a portion of Perdue Foods' fine will fund forestland restoration.
A portion of Perdue’s penalty will be used to restore about 40 acres of forest at the McCabe Preserve near Milton, where the Delaware Nature Conservancy plans to plant oak, hickory and other trees.
The conservancy’s Director of Conservation Programs Sarah Cooksey says the restoration is a win for the conservancy, residents and state waterways.
“Water quality across Delaware continues to be an area that needs improvement,” Cooksey said. “The Nature Conservancy hopes that we have fishable, swimmable streams across the United States.”
It will align with the conservancy's goal of bringing people together with nature, she said.
"We like to connect people with nature. This will expand upon opportunities for people to do that at the McCabe Preserve," she said.
The Nature Conservancy plans to plant trees in the fall of 2018.
The state and the conservancy say this project would eliminate agricultural runoff and help reduce some nutrients like nitrogen that get into state waterways.
According to Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin’s order, the project would offset up to $58,000 of Perdue’s fine, leaving them to pay $19,000 plus investigation expenses to the state.