MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- It should come as no surprise that Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point’s Environmental Affairs Department received the 2013 Secretary of the Navy Environmental Restoration Team Award during a ceremony here, Aug. 8. The department has been collecting awards for its environmental efforts and strategies for more than 30 years, since the days when the country really began enacting laws and regulations for environmental stewardship.
This time, the team received the award for successful and innovative restoration strategies at and around Fleet Readiness Center East.
“We won the award based on a cleanup strategy for areas around FRC East and the air station,” said William Potter, an environmental engineer with EAD. “Because of the success of pilot studies, we are able to create a full-scale remedy for this project.”
The team conducted various studies and installed barriers that are designed to eliminate contaminating agents within the ground that were improperly disposed of almost 40 years ago.
The current strategies and decontamination technologies have contributed to a significant reduction in potential ground water contaminating agents at Cherry Point and in the surrounding communities, said George Radford, the environmental affairs officer with EAD.
“Our main goal is to preserve and protect the environment as well as service members and employees of Cherry Point from harmful agents and ensure the Marines can still do what they need to do to support their individual missions,” said Radford.
Although the department has been recognized with nearly 70 major awards since it was created, it continues to move full speed ahead in all of its efforts to not only protect, but to improve the environment and all of us who live in it.
The department informs Cherry Point residents and local community members on measures that it is taking to monitor and improve environmental conditions through Restoration Advisory Board meetings, which are held periodically in Havelock and are open to the public. The RAB is comprised of local community members who volunteer their time to stay informed of the restoration efforts at Cherry Point and offer their input as to what they would like to see from the program. All public meetings are announced several weeks in advance in local area newspapers.
“Part of our efforts include providing information to the public on what our strategies are, how we are going to implement them and by seeking feedback on any plans before we begin implementing anything,” said Radford.
Here on Cherry Point, EAD encourages residents and personnel to participate in the protection of their own community by maintaining proper environmental safety.
“Cherry Point residents and Marines can prevent damage to the environment by following procedures for getting rid of hazardous materials at work, in the barracks or even at home,” said Radford. More information about how personnel here can support a cleaner environment at Cherry Point is available on the EAD page of the Cherry Point website at http://www.cherrypoint.marines.mil/Resources/EnvironmentalAffairs.aspx.