Stericycle announced the first project locations for its five year, $1 million partnership with the National Park Foundation. Stericycle’s commitment will support wetland restoration efforts at the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve in Jacksonville, Florida, as well as the Cumberland Island National Seashore in Saint Marys, Georgia.
The partnership between the National Park Foundation and Stericycle will support efforts to improve coastal resilience in both parks by implementing a nature-based solution known as a pervious oyster shell habitat (P.O.S.H). These constructed habitats will help provide an effective defense against the impacts of climate change, and the shorelines will benefit from decreased erosion, improved water quality, and restored ecosystems for fish and wildlife.
“Stericycle is proud to support the restoration of the wetland shorelines at the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve and the Cumberland Island National Seashore to help fortify a healthier habitat and future for the wildlife that lives there,” said Cindy J. Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer at Stericycle. “Every year, Stericycle safely and responsibly disposes of millions of pounds of medical waste and pharmaceuticals, ensuring they do not end up in our communities or waterways. This collaboration with the National Park Foundation further deepens our commitment to environmental stewardship and ensuring a more sustainable future.”
Located just 20 minutes from downtown Jacksonville, Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve is an area of historic significance and natural beauty. The park consists of salt marshes and coastal dunes and is one of the last unspoiled coastal wetlands on the Atlantic coast. Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve has experienced increasingly strong storms and recreational activity that has impacted the shoreline and threatened the tidal habitats of three species of greatest conservation need, including scalloped hammerheads, sandbar sharks, and American oystercatchers. Stericycle’s support of the National Park Foundation will help protect the park’s vital tidal habitats and surrounding ecosystems for future generations.
Cumberland Island National Seashore is one of the largest of Georgia’s Golden Isles that is a barrier island comprised of pristine maritime forests, undeveloped beaches, and wide marshes. From sea turtles, wild turkeys, wild horses, and armadillos to abundant shore birds, the 36,000+ acre park and its 18 miles of shoreline are full of rich biodiversity. Like Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, the park’s shoreline has been impacted by extreme weather events, violent tides, and increased boat recreation, which have contributed to erosion along the park’s coastline and requires intervention.
“Healthy coastal wetland environments help filter water and reduce the destructive power of floods and storms, all while providing habitat for fish and wildlife and serving as major carbon sinks. We are excited to partner with Stericycle to restore and improve the parks’ coastal resilience at Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve and Cumberland Island National Seashore,” said Chad Jones, Senior Vice President, Corporate Partnerships at the National Park Foundation. “In addition to our partnership with Stericycle, the National Park Foundation is proud to collaborate with the University of North Florida and the Groundwork Jacksonville Green Team to bring our collective shoreline restoration efforts to life.”