Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant

Lusby, Maryland, United States

Certified Gold through 2023

Project Name
Project Type
Calvert Cliffs Artificial Reef
Marine Intertidal
Calvert Cliffs Eastern Blue bird
Atlantic Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphemus)
Other Species
WOOD DUCK (Aix Sponsa)
About the Program
Exelon Corporation's Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Calvert County, Md. includes over 1,020 acres of woodlands and open field amid the companies' nuclear reactors. The area serves as a wildlife corridor connecting two nature parks and is home to a Chestnut Oak listed on Maryland's Big Tree Register. The team manages a sustainable hunting program, and two avian species programs on site. In addition, in the spring of 2018, Exelon constructed an artificial reef 1.25 miles off western shore of Chesapeake bay by reusing baffle wall panels that would otherwise be sent to a landfill.

Practices and Impacts
  • Exelon began an artificial nest box project in 2006 to help recover the bluebird (Sialia sialis) population of Maryland.  The team monitors the boxes for eggs and hatchlings each nesting season and submits the data to the North American Bluebird Society. 
  • The team has also installed 4 nest boxes for wood ducks around the onsite pond and monitors for hatchlings. The pond is infrequently visited and offers the ducks an undisturbed area to nest.
  • Calvert Cliffs provides an ideal habitat for the rare and threatened Northeastern Beach Tiger Beetle (Cicindela puritana). The team collaborates with Dr. C. Barry Kingsley, an entomologist with Randolph Macon College, to conduct a population assessment each year during the summer months. The project has been ongoing since 1986.
  • Exelon has executed a controlled hunting program to manage the deer population and, in doing so, decrease accidents, maintain a healthy level of vegetation, and decrease spread of disease and starvation in deer. The team consults with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to determine appropriate quotas each year.
  • The Calvert Cliffs plant has established a selective barrier system structure in the Bay to reduce the number of horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) that reach the intake embayment. The fence serves to redirect the crabs onto their targeted migration route for spawning and the resulting data is shared with the Maryland Department of the Environment. Since the project began, the team has noted a drastic reduction in crab deaths.