At an Earth Day event today at the U.S. Naval Academy, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environmental Security Sherri Goodman released a new report called "Restoring and Protecting the Chesapeake Bay - A Department of Defense Initiative."
The report provides a glimpse of the role DoD has played in the Bay environmental protection efforts since 1965, and reviews restoration strategies for the future.
The report also outlines the specific commitments made with the EPA and other Chesapeake Bay Program partners, as well as initiatives we have under taken with them.
"When it comes to joining forces to protect and restore the Bay, we mean business. We are not only releasing our report today, we are beginning to implement part of it right here on the banks of the Severn River.
And, this spring, another 20 military installations will complete similar projects, restoring well over 22 acres of streamside natural areas in the Bay," Goodman said.
Goodman went on to say, "Ten thousand trees and project support equipment are already on their way to installations throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
In this way, we are turning the report I hold in my hand today into reality, and reinforcing our strong commitment to stream corridor stewardship."
The effort is being funded using $300,000 for natural areas restoration in the Chesapeake Bay, using DoD's Legacy Program funds.
Legacy funds are appropriated to protect and enhance natural resources in support of the military mission.
In support of our environmental security mission, the Defense Department invested approximately $4.3 million in Legacy funds to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay between 1991 and 1998.
Goodman also established a new initiative that will enable installation personnel across the country to work with teachers, students and local organizations to learn about, and have an actual hand in, improving water quality.
The program, called "Streamside Forests: Lifelines to Clean Water," is designed to help children learn about protecting water resources by working with installation staff to restore a streamside in their community.
Small grants (up to $5,000) to purchase native plants will be available where restoration projects on military lands have been designed in partnership with a youth group or civic organization.
These small projects can go a long way toward beginning the restoration process in communities, and demonstrating how we can achieve superior environmental protection when people join forces.
The report is on the Internet at http:// www.denix.osd.mil