Story by Clifford Davis on 04/08/2019JACKSONVILLE, Fla. As an industrial facility on the banks of the St. Johns River, environmental stewardship is serious business at Fleet Readiness Center Southeast; and the command showed it by taking home the 2019 Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award for Environmental Quality recently.
The award, determined by government and private sector evaluators, is given to Navy and Marine Corps installations, ships and people for accomplishments in promoting environmental stewardship.
"Our goal in life is to protect human health and the environment," said Environmental Director Henry Pape. "Doing that is its own reward, but it's nice to be recognized by the Secretary of the Navy."
Looking at the environmental team's accomplishments, it's easy to see why they won.
The facility recycled more than 354,000 pounds of metal, which is sold back to suppliers for hundreds of thousands of dollars- worth of credits for future metal acquisition.
The command diverted more than 2,000 tons of recyclable material that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.
Upgrades to the facility's waste water treatment plant are also underway. When complete, they will allow FRCSE to reduce its water usage by 50 percent.
The environmental team is also responsible for training FRCSE employees through disaster response drills and other hands-on methods.
"Nothing escapes to the environment, whether it's the soil, the river, anywhere outside the contained area," said Environmental Engineer Jacob Deeb. "Everyone takes responsibility to ensure this is done right.
"Training is a big thing here; the more you train people, the more aware and knowledgeable they are about what to do."