WASHINGTON, (NNS) -- Navy commands are participating in events and activities that celebrate Earth Day throughout the month of April.
The Navy's 2015 theme for Earth Day, "A Sustainable Future Begins with You," underscores the ripple effect of each individual's actions that benefit the environment and help ensure a viable planet for generations to come. The theme was announced via naval message on 16 March.
"I encourage each of you to take action to protect and preserve," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in the message. "As you have done on previous Earth Days, participate in a recycling program, or a beach or neighborhood cleanup. Maintain and enhance your efforts to reduce waste and use energy wisely. Whatever action you take, remember that local efforts like yours help us to ensure we have the resources we need to continue our global mission into the future."
Participating naval commands are finding fun and unique ways to observe Earth Day and engage local communities, including hosting tree plantings, dumpster dives, shore and base cleanups, recycling demonstrations and other environmentally focused exhibits and activities. Observances are occurring throughout the U.S. and in areas as diverse as Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti; NSA Naples, Italy and U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa in Japan.
"The Navy does our part to protect natural ecosystems year-round as we perform our global mission, and we continue to be a world leader in funding marine mammal research," said Rear Adm. Kevin Slates, director of the Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division (OPNAV N45). "Becoming more energy efficient at sea and ashore helps us perform our mission more effectively, but it also makes our activities more sustainable. Earth Day gives us the opportunity to celebrate those successes and inform others about what we're doing."
This year marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. Former U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin founded Earth Day in 1970 to promote community engagement and practices of environmental stewardship around the world.
For more information and resources regarding the Navy's Earth Day activities, visit http://greenfleet.dodlive.mil/environment/earth-day/