The Department of the Navy will join the nation in celebration of the 34th annual Earth Day on April 22nd. The Departments theme for Earth Day 2004 is Celebrating Successful Partnerships, recognizing the extensive collaboration that takes place among Navy, Marine Corps, industry, government, academic, and nonprofit organizations to enable the sea services to accomplish the primary mission of national defense while safeguarding the natural environment.
Earth Day presents an excellent opportunity to highlight the departments continued contributions to ensuring a sustainable environmental future, said Secretary of the Navy Gordon England. Earth Day 2004 is an occasion for the Navy and Marine Corps to work with partnering organizations to re-emphasize our commitment to the environment in which we work and live, both in the U.S. and overseas.
The Department of the Navy prides itself on its long-standing record of environmental stewardship. Highlights of 2003 environmental initiatives are:
- A joint venture between Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) and Atlantic Wood Industries to remove 38,000 tons of calcium hydroxide, 3,900 tons of wood debris, 1,400 tons of abrasive blast media, and 1,700 tons of contaminated soil from two adjacent National Priority List sites in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
- The partnerships between NNSY and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the Elizabeth River Project to construct a 1.33-acre wetland and plant a 1.6-acre riparian buffer to provide upland a habitat that consists of native grasses, bushes and trees that provide additional storm and water filtration control.
- The implementation of a Navy-wide At Sea policy that requires all fleet exercises to be reviewed for environmental compliance and for potential effect on marine mammals and other marine life.
- Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., one of the largest Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) fleets in the nation, is widely recognized as an AFV leader. Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego has mandated that AFVs be used for all transportation activities.
- The decision to operate a 270-megawatt (MW) Geothermal Power Plant at Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, Calif. to generate nearly pollution-free power for 180,000 homes. Since its inception, the Navy has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 4.5 metric tons at NAWS.
- Replacing all the gas-powered vehicles in the Executive Motor Pool at Naval Station Anacostia, Washington, D.C. with alternatively fueled vehicles.
The Navy has been recognized for its leadership in energy conservation and its environmental stewardship. Recently, President George W. Bush cited the Naval Facilities Engineering Command with a Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management in the category of Outstanding Performance. The award was one of five Presidential Awards presented in 2003.
Each year, Department of the Navy commands worldwide celebrate the environmental stewardship successes of sailors, Marines, ships and installations by hosting and participating in booth displays, tree plantings, volunteer cleanup projects, environmental fairs, and other Earth Day-related events. Earth Day is often celebrated in the U.S. on or around April 22, but many events take place throughout April and May. To find out if Navy Earth Day activities are planned in your area, contact the public affairs office of a Navy installation near you.
Additional information about the Navys environmental partnerships is at: www.navy.mil