Navy “Partnering For A Greener Future” On Earth Day

Navy and Marine Corps commands around the world will participate in activities to celebrate environmental stewardship on and around Earth Day 2010, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. As part of Earth Day 2010, the Navy’s theme, “Partnering for a Greener Future,” highlights its partnership with other military services, federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and industry. Partnerships help the Navy achieve its dual priorities of securing the nation’s energy supply and protecting the environment. Some examples include:

  • Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, led by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, has been working with the Navy since summer 2009. As a result of the task force, national policy and a framework will be developed that will support the nation’s priorities in terms of environment, economics, recreation, and security through sustainable use of oceans, lakes, and coastal areas.

  • Navy and shipbuilding industries are working on a wide range of energy-efficiency initiatives on ships, including stern flaps and propeller coatings.

  • A total of eight training, testing, and operating areas have been approved for environmental planning, permitting, and consultation, with six more scheduled for completion this year. In collaboration with the National Marine Fisheries Service, these efforts mark the beginning of a continuous cycle of environmental planning and renewal.

  • With the recent commissioning of the USS Makin Island, the Navy will be able to conserve fuel and save hundreds of millions of dollars over the ship’s lifetime, rather than spending millions of dollars on fuel.

  • Research on marine mammals continues to be funded by the Navy in collaboration with academic institutions and government agencies.

The Navy will display an F/A-18 Super Hornet powered by a 50/50 biofuel blend on Earth Day 2010. Sustainable Oils of Bozeman, Montana manufactures the fuel, which is derived from the Camelina sativa plant. The demonstration will take place at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. In addition to reducing dependence on foreign energy sources and using fuel that is less carbon-intensive than petroleum fuels, the Navy is also conducting research to identify other biofuels. Earth Day 2010 will celebrate more than 50 installations with community events including cleanups of shorelines and neighborhoods, tree plantings, recycling challenges, fun runs, and wildlife rescues.

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Alex Jones

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