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News | May 28, 2010

Navy Hosts Environmental Ship Embark

By Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Readiness Division Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Readiness Division

The Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Readiness Division and U.S. Fleet Forces coordinated an environmentally focused ship embark for environmental nongovernmental organizations and federal regulators May 19-20. 

The embark gave participants - including representatives from Oceana, Ocean Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - a firsthand look at the Navy's environmental stewardship efforts while at sea.

The embark included an arrested landing on USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), where Commanding Officer Capt. Chip Miller welcomed the visitors aboard. The group observed myriad of operations aboard the ship, from daytime and nighttime flight operations, to the inner-workings of the ship's "shaft alley." 

In addition to the usual carrier tour, the group visited areas housing waste management equipment or storage, including plastic waste processors, a metal-glass shredder, the hazardous material issue room, and an engine room to view an oil-water separation unit. These operations and equipment help the Navy minimize its environmental footprint while at sea. As example, the plastic waste processor allows Navy ships to store massive amounts of plastic waste onboard ship for on shore offloading and management, rather than disposing of such waste at sea.

Following a night aboard George H.W. Bush, the group traveled via helicopter to USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) for a different perspective on Navy environmental stewardship, led by the ship's Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Lynn Acheson. 

The group observed watchstanders demonstrating marine mammal lookout and reporting measures and using the Navy's "Protective Measures Assessment Protocol," a geographic information system-based program which provides information on species protection for various evaluations such as sonar use, gun shoots, and missile shoots. The group was also invited to the ship's sonar control room, where the crew demonstrated both synthetic training and active sonar transmissions.

"This was an unforgettable experience," said Tracey Moriarty, director of outreach for Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Readiness Division. "We were impressed with the enthusiasm and professionalism of the young Sailors on board the USS George H.W. Bush and USS Gonzales. They are doing great things at great personal sacrifice to protect our nation, while also protecting the marine environment where they spend so much of their time," said Moriarty. 

For more news from Ocean Stewardship, visit