(WXYZ) — Consumers Energy released 19 juvenile Blanding's Turtles that were rescued from the construction path of the Saginaw Trail natural gas pipeline replacement project.
The turtles were released back into their natural wetland habitat in Genesee County.
“We are so proud to once again play a key role in helping the Blanding’s Turtle, a species of special concern in Michigan, survive and thrive,” said Dennis Dobbs, Consumers Energy’s vice president of enterprise project management and environmental services. “Our dedicated and caring pipeline employees embraced our commitment of ‘leaving it better than we found it’ by working to protect and enhance wildlife, and valuable habitat while modernizing our pipeline system.”
The turtles came from eggs of adult females that were removed from the pipeline path in 2019, then returned when construction was done.
A herpetologist incubated the eggs and nurtured the juveniles over the winter until they were large enough to survive.
“It’s a really good feeling to know that because of our efforts these turtles could be here for the next generation of Michiganders to enjoy. We’re very proud of that,” Dobbs said.
Consumers Energy says that during three years of construction on the Saginaw Trail Pipeline, more than 30,000 amphibians and reptiles have been relocated from the pipeline path.