PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola Public Works Department (PWD) was awarded the Environmental Stewardship Award for Northwest Florida by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) during a ceremony in downtown Pensacola at the Chappie James Building, Dec. 7.
According to the FDEP website, the award seeks to recognize businesses, professional and community organizations, and local governments within each district for proactive, innovative and exceptional achievements to prevent or reduce impacts on the environment beyond measures required by permit or rule.
Shawn Hamilton, director of Northwest Florida's DEP, presented a plaque to Cmdr. Shawn Dominguez, NAS Pensacola's executive officer. Hamilton was proud of the base for helping to lead the charge in environmental safety throughout the district.
"This award is representative of those investing time, resources and environmental concern, and going above and beyond what is expected," Hamilton said. "This is a small plaque but a great achievement nonetheless."
To be considered for the honor, eligible entities must exhibit significant and measurable achievements that present a clear benefit to the environment in one or more of the following areas: reducing environmental impacts, conserving resources, enhancing ecosystems and restoring impacts.
The base's environmental accomplishments included continued recovery from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Spill, implementing a solar power facility at Saufley Field and removing 1.2 million gallons of oily waste from the Bilgewater Treatment Plant, among many others.
Dominguez felt the recognition was important and symbolized the effort being made by the base to do its part in preserving the environment.
"Protecting the environment is critical to the Navy mission," Dominguez said. "Some people say that the military and environmental protection cannot coexist. We believe that they can, and all it takes is planning and effort, as well as the willingness to cooperate in pursuit of a common goal."
NAS Pensacola's Installation Environmental Program Director Mark Gibson was pleased with his team for achieving this feat.
"This award is a wonderful accomplishment for everything we have been able to do through teamwork with the base and community and the FDEP," Gibson said. "The FDEP has worked with us for many years to ensure that our mission improves the environment and quality of life onboard NAS Pensacola and we are so proud of the commitment of our leadership in pursuing this task."
NAS Pensacola, situated in Escambia County, employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel. This includes major tenant commands, Naval Aviation Schools Command, Naval Air Technical Training Center, Marine Aviation Training Support Groups 21 and 23, the Blue Angels, and the headquarters for Naval Education and Training Command.
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For more news from Naval Air Station Pensacola, visit www.navy.mil/local/naspensacola/.