On Earth Day, the Office of the Secretary of Defense announced Naval Base Kitsap as the Sustainability, Industrial Installation category winner of the 2020 SECDEF Environmental Awards.
On Nov. 17, the Kitsap Peninsula naval base accepted its new hardware during a ceremony at Commander, Navy Region Northwest Headquarters on Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Stephen Barnett, NRNW commander, formally presented the award to U.S. Navy Capt. Rich Rhinehart, NBK commanding officer, accepting it on his installation’s behalf.
“This award is a great recognition of the tireless work of the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Northwest and Naval Base Kitsap teams,” Rhinehart said. “They consistently demonstrate their dedication to being loyal stewards of our environment and the communities in which we work and reside.”
The nine award categories identify installations, teams, and individuals for their accomplishments in innovative and cost-effective environmental management strategies supporting mission readiness. The 2020 award cycle recognized command achievements from Oct. 1, 2017 through Sept. 30, 2019.
Rhinehart specifically mentioned NBK Environmental Director Greg Leicht, on behalf of the environmental team for their work, which led to earning the award.
NBK fulfilled many projects geared toward preventing or eliminating pollution at the source, as well as increasing efficiency and sustainability using raw materials, energy, water, and other resources within the fiscal year, which contributed to the recognition, including the innovative use of oyster shells.
“I really liked the use of oyster shells in the storm sewer system to remove zinc from storm water,” Leicht said. “We have abundant quantities of oyster shells in the northwest, and use of this natural occurring material to solve the problem appeals to me.”
Using oyster shells was a pilot program implemented by the NBK staff. The analytical results demonstrated a 75 percent reduction in the zinc concentrations within the water.
NBK also succeeded in efforts in greenhouse gas reduction, procurement of sustainable goods and services, waste diversion and energy efficiency, and renewable energy practices.
“[Great job] on over 350,000 gallons of petroleum-based fuel saved…,” Barnett said. “Plus, you lead the Region’s vehicle inventory comprised of 11 percent of environmentally-friendly vehicles, thus, further reducing the installation’s reliance on fossil fuels and its generation of greenhouse gas emissions.”
Rhinehart commended his team for their dedication to the environment and community.
“It’s our responsibility to be good tenants here in the Pacific Northwest by protecting and preserving our environment for future generations,” he said. “I’m very proud of our team and what they’ve done to lead the way in enhancing the environment, while concurrently fully supporting Navy operations.”
One of the projects was clearing culverts along NBK’s 48-mile railroad. This is an ongoing conservation and restoration project to support the environment for future generations. Unobstructed culverts provide access to critical habitat for many aquatic species, including endangered salmon.
“Working alongside our engineer for the railroad, I’m most excited to be a part of opening up culverts along the railroad to support fish passage,” said Julia Stockton, NBK biologist. “This has been a long goal of ours to replace culverts that have been structurally compromised, while keeping in mind fish passage for threatened and endangered fish species.”
The robust program surrounding NBK’s environmental strategies put best practices to use in sustainable project design and construction to minimize environmental impacts.
U.S. Navy Capt. Edward Miller, NAVFAC NW commanding officer, also commended the environmental team.
“Day in and day out they’re the unsung heroes behind the scenes making sure the Navy continues to do their mission, and are champions of environmental stewardship,” Miller said. “I continue to be proud and amazed. Thank you for the continued excellence.”
Naval Base Kitsap is the largest naval organization in Navy Region Northwest. Its mission is to serve as the host command for the U.S. Navy’s fleet throughout West Puget Sound, and provide base operating services, including support for surface ships, submarines and shore commands homeported at Bangor, Bremerton, Jackson Park, Keyport, and Manchester. NBK will continue to be the best place to serve in the Navy.
|Date Posted:||11.19.2020 13:47|
|Location:||NAVAL BASE KITSAP-BREMERTON, WA, US|
|Hometown:||MILLINGTON, TN, US|
|Hometown:||NAVAL BASE KITSAP-BREMERTON, WA, US|
|Hometown:||WASHINGTON CITY, DC, US|
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