Washington, DC - Navy commands across the globe are celebrating Earth Day today and throughout the month of April by participating in local activities that showcase their ongoing commitment to the environment as they support the Navy's national security mission.
Earth Day, which was first celebrated in April of 1970, began as a grassroots movement that raised public awareness of the fragility of natural ecosystems and encouraged people to make individual commitments to protect the planet.
The Navy's 2014 theme for Earth Day, "Global Reach--->Local Action," reminds Sailors, civilians, and family members that as a result of the Navy's global presence, they have many opportunities to make positive changes for the environment and for energy use in their communities.
"The Navy began installing equipment on our ships to safely manage our waste stream at sea and protect the environment over 30 years ago, and our bases have developed robust programs to protect natural resources and keep the air, water, and soil clean," said Rear Adm. Kevin Slates, director of the Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division (OPNAV N45).
"We're also pursuing energy initiatives that focus on enhancing capability and resiliency, but many of those energy efforts also have a side benefit of being good for the environment. Earth Day is a prime time to let people know that we have taken and will continue to take our environmental stewardship responsibility seriously," said Slates.
Among the Earth Day related activities planned or ongoing this year at naval commands are environmental presentations at local schools; exhibit events with government agencies, and non-governmental organizations; 5K runs; beach clean-ups; energy awareness training/competitions; recycling events; solar power demos; environmental fairs and facility nature tours; and tree plantings.