Invista’s Victoria, Texas, site has completed a 15-month, multi-million-dollar investment project to renovate its 53-acre wetland.

“The Invista wetland has been an important part of our site and of the Victoria community for more than 20 years,” said Vince Salvador, Victoria site manager. “We’ve done ongoing maintenance over the years, but this project was a dedicated commitment to restore and improve this habitat on our site. I’m proud of the refurbishment and its demonstration of our continued commitment to environmental excellence.”

In addition to removing solids and sediment that had slowly accumulated over the years, the site made improvements in the original wetland design, including redesigning the first phase of ponds to sediment basins that allow for easier maintenance in the future while providing sediment accumulation protection for the second phase and habitat zones where the water polishing occurs.

“As part of this project, 50,000 plants were added to the renovated area,” said Salvador. “These were a combination of several species of native plants—some new and others relocated from other areas of the wetland that were not part of the renovation work.” The vegetation was strategically placed for aesthetics and animal habitat.

In addition to the wetland’s role in the site’s biotreatment process, it also serves as an outdoor environmental classroom through a long-standing collaboration with the Victoria Independent School District (VISD).

John Snyder, wetland educator with VISD, has been teaching environmentally focused topics to students in 4th – 12th grades at the wetland since it opened in 1998. Snyder said, “Students visiting the wetland during the project not only learned about the wetland wildlife but were also able to witness the renovation effort and enjoyed seeing the large equipment in action. The project also included construction of two new observation towers for students to use in the area with the best wildlife viewing. I’ve already noticed that the bird, fish and dragonfly populations have increased, which is a good sign of a healthy, thriving ecosystem.”

Since the first student group visited the Education Center in October 1998, Snyder has conducted programs for more than 75,000 students and teachers from the local and regional school districts.

The primary water source is the water stream from Invista's state-of-the-art above ground biological treatment system. The wetland provides an additional, natural water-polishing step to the site’s surface water discharge process before the water enters the Guadalupe River. The wetland was developed, designed, and built with input and guidance from the site's Wetland Advisory Team consisting of engineers, scientists, wetland experts and wildlife specialists, as well as local community members.

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