WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus spoke at a news conference May 12 regarding the Navy's role in the federal strategy designed to execute President Obama's Executive Order to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay and its surrounding communities.
The Department of Defense has 68 installations in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Every military service has a presence and the Department of the Navy, as the DoD Executive Agent, is responsible for ensuring they are all in accordance with strict environment and clean water standards.
"Our efforts are focused on improved treatment of waste water, reduction of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment in stormwater runoff, and preservation and stabilization of shoreline to reduce erosion." said Mabus.
The branches are doing this by upgrading wastewater treatment plants, implementing broader Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) construction standards in all new buildings to minimize runoff and implementing low-impact development practices on other construction projects to further reduce stormwater flow.
"Very close to here at the Navy Yard, we have our first parking lot made of pervious pavers which is working great and is about to be incorporated at all our bases." said Mabus. Pervious pavers allow water to filter through the surface which removes pollutants from stormwater before it is reabsorbed into underlying soil.
Other efforts include purchasing more hybrids and neighborhood electric vehicles to help reduce nitrogen emissions that end up in the Bay through air deposition.
The Chesapeake Bay is vital because it is home to oysters, more than 250 fish species, 300 migratory bird species, approximately 315 million blue crabs and 17 million human residents.
The vision for the bay is that it will successfully provide food, shelter, a reproduction habitat and a nurturing environment for migratory fish and birds. The vision also includes providing humans with swimmable and fishable water, forests, farms and conserved land the public can easily access to enjoy nature and the region's heritage.
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