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NEWS | May 5, 2015

NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Celebrate Earth Day

By Tom Kreidel, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic

The environmental team from Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic PWD Norfolk teamed up with U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) for an Earth Day Fair April 24. 

Each year, Earth Day -- April 22 -- marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Over the years Earth Day activities have grown outside of just the one day of the year, with events happening during the week and throughout the month of April.

According to Sharon Baumann, Installation Environmental Program director, it's important for people to see what types of initiatives the Navy has implemented at sea and at shore, to help show that the Navy takes pollution prevention and energy conservation seriously.

"I love taking the time each year at Earth Day events like these to talk to Sailors and their families about the efforts the Navy has made and about things they can do to be more environmentally friendly," she added.

This year's fair featured displays on energy awareness, fleet hybrid and electric cars, an environmental awareness display, tree seedlings that visitors could take home and plant and Stewie, the U.S. Navy's environmental mascot.

"Stewie, our friendly turtle mascot has been a mainstay at our environmental displays and exhibits for more than a year now," said Tracy Riker, environmental outreach program manager for USFFC. "Very popular with children and adults alike, Stewie represents the Navy's efforts to conduct our training and testing activities at sea in a way that avoids detrimental effects on the species with which we share our marine environment."

Riker added that her goal is to highlight the Navy's commitment to environmental stewardship and working to balance the vital work of national defense with being environmentally responsible.

"It is also important for the public to know that the Navy is a world leader in marine mammal research, and has funded more than $100 million in research and monitoring over the past five years," she added.

Baumann added that NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic PWD Norfolk holds this Earth Day Fair annually at the Norfolk Navy Exchange and it's a great way to remind visitors on how they can help take care of the environment, both at work and at home.