Swamp sanctuary preserves wetlands with help from Hancor
New culverts offer environmental advantages for a natural sanctuary in Naples, Fla. During the wet season, water flows through the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a wetland system that is owned, maintained and protected by Audubon. The sanctuary has only one access road through its 11,000 acres that is used for wildlife and land management activities...
FINDLAY, OH, March 29, 2005 -- New culverts offer environmental advantages for a natural sanctuary in Naples, Fla. During the wet season, water flows through the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a wetland system that is owned, maintained and protected by Audubon. The sanctuary has only one access road through its 11,000 acres that is used for wildlife and land management activities.
"We're real careful about maintaining culverting in our road so that we're not disrupting the natural flow of water," explains Ed Carlson, Executive Director of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. "Old metal culverts we had put in 20 years ago had completely rusted out. They were collapsing and the road was not drivable, plus it wasn't fully allowing water to move from one part of the sanctuary to the other."
In the fall of 2004, Florida hurricanes did not help matters and in fact made the problem worse. "High water levels and high rain from the hurricanes just pushed the culverts over the edge. There was so much water going through them they failed. They started to wash out and cave in so we had to do something," explains Carlson.
The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary researched various replacement products. "Virtually every one here [in Florida] uses corrugated metal pipe but we went on-line and found plastic pipe," says Carlson. They discovered Hancor's EcoFirst® pipe, and decided to upgrade to recycled plastic pipe. The sanctuary increased the pipe diameter and replaced 24" corrugated metal culverts with 36" high density polyethylene (HDPE) culverts to increase water volume flow.
"Hancor recognizes the importance of preserving our natural ecosystems and is proud to help such a valuable organization," says Bill Altermatt, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Hancor. "HDPE pipe is an effective solution for water management and EcoFirst represents Hancor's commitment to the environment. It is fitting to use a product with recycled materials in such a natural environment."
The sanctuary was confident in EcoFirst's durability and the fact that it would last longer. "I don't want to be replacing culverts every 20 years or leave that legacy for somebody else to have to replace," says Carlson.
He also values the ease of installation that comes with HDPE pipe. "I've had two men rolling those pipes on and off of trailers and pushing them into excavations that we were making. Nobody needed a second machine with chains to lift up big heavy metal pipes. They were very easy, maneuverable and made the job go faster," explains Carlson.
To date the pipes are all installed and just need a little grading, but the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is satisfied with their choice. "Everything is working just fine," says Carlson.
Audubon has a long history of conservation in Florida. For over 100 years they have protected and restored Florida's natural areas. The mission of Audubon of Florida and National Audubon is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds and other wildlife for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity.
Visitors to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary find a gentle, pristine wilderness that dates back more than 600 years. A 2.25 mile boardwalk meanders through pine flat woods, open prairie and finally into the largest forest of ancient bald cypress in North America. The forest is also home to hundreds of Alligators, Otters, Florida black bear, White-tailed deer, Red-bellied turtles, Wood storks, songbirds and others.
Hancor (www.hancor.com) is a solutions provider. One of the nation's largest suppliers of storm water management systems, Hancor manufactures a wide variety of plastic drainage products for the commercial, residential, construction and agricultural markets. Hancor was founded in 1887 in Findlay, Ohio and operates manufacturing facilities and service centers across the country.