Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Wyatt Anthony, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. Northwest
SILVERDALE, Wash. – More than 210 Sailors, Marines and DoD civilian employees, participated in an Earth Day cleanup aboard Naval Base Kitsap (NBK), April 21.
As a part of the cleanup efforts participants removed undesired vegetation, picked up trash and recyclable materials and cleaned flowerbeds.
“We’re getting out here today, and we’re taking pride in our environment and in our base by dedicating our time to ensuring that all of the trash that is carelessly discarded of is properly thrown away or recycled,” said Chief Damage Controlman John Vangelder, the Earth Day Coordinator for NBK.
Earth Day started as a grassroots movement, in 1970, to celebrate the planet’s environment and raise public awareness about pollution. Since its conception it has developed from a nationally recognized day of celebration, to a day that is now recognized by more than 190 countries, and has helped promote public support for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as contributed to the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act and several other environmental laws.
“Earth Day is something that is a lot larger that people realize, and it is an excellent way of giving people awareness of their environment and how important it is to take care of it,” said Vangelder. “What I hope, is that people who are unaware, or indifferent, become inspired by seeing us, and others, out taking the initiative to take control of and clean up our environment.”
“Building Strength Through Stewardship” is the Navy’s theme for this year’s Earth Day, and the commanding officer of NBK, Capt. Alan Schrader believes that being a steward for our environment is more than a one-day event.
“The people here at Naval Base Kitsap understand that this is truly an exceptional place to work and live,” said Schrader. “They take great pride in helping to keep this base looking great for the thousands of military, civilians, and contractors who not only work here, but call NBK home.”
Sailors Throughout Navy Region Northwest dedicated more than 500 man-hours toward being stewards for their environment. Lt. Alfredo Lozano, assigned to NBK’s 1st Lieutenant Office, couldn’t have been more proud of the role that he played.
“I am filled with pride to be out taking part in something that is such a big deal,” said Lozano. “This is our contribution to make the environment cleaner, and safer, not just for people, but for the wildlife too.”
For more information on the Navy’s global impact with Earth Day, visit http://greenfleet.dodlive.mil/environment/earth-day/.