R 011633Z APR 20
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC L LF//
SUBJ/EARTH DAY MESSAGE 2020//
POC/C. SAKAI/CIV/MCICOM GF/TEL: 571-256-2806//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1970 and the subsequent first Earth Day is credited for launching national environmental awareness that resulted in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and landmark legislation such as the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Over our 244-year history, Marines have adapted to evolving expectations, including adopting and demonstrating an environmental ethos to protect our environment for our families, surrounding communities, and our lands for training. Recent initiatives such as addressing potential risks from chemicals in Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) used to fight petroleum fires; the relocation of the Desert Tortoise to expand available training lands at MCAGCC 29 Palms; and stewardship of the Red Cockaded Woodpecker at MCB Camp Lejeune provide additional mission flexibility and demonstrate our commitment to protecting the health of our personnel and the environment while maintaining and enhancing our mission. As a result, the Marine Corps can generate combat power to win our country’s battles, build and protect a resilient force, and sustain the lands entrusted to our care.
2. I understand that COVID-19 has impacted many plans for Earth Day 2020. However, Earth Day 2020 promises to be the first national Digital Earth Day. I fully support each installation’s efforts to increase our digital presence, highlighting our environmental responsibilities, initiatives, and our commitment to protect the environment. Once we are cleared for normal activities, I encourage installations to interact with your base personnel and surrounding communities to share your outstanding environmental stewardship activities.
3. Sustainable installations begin with each of us. I encourage everyone to seek information about actions you can take to support environmental management efforts on your installation and in the surrounding communities. During this challenging time, and as we return to the workplace, simple changes can have meaningful impacts: following all fueling procedures and quickly addressing all spills; minimizing hazardous materials and cleaners that are not needed; controlling lead by keeping rounds on target and thoroughly policing brass to recycle; turning off unused lights and electrical devices; carpooling or busing to work; using reusable bags, water bottles, coffee cups, and silverware; properly disposing of all trash and hazardous waste; using sustainable alternatives to pesticides; and ensuring we each understand our obligations to protect natural and cultural resources. Management practices like these minimize pollution and associated cleanup costs, protect the health of our forces and surrounding communities, and help to protect lands for future training.
4. Use Earth Day 2020 as a reminder to reflect on our mission, our environment, and the need to preserve our resources for future generations of Marines, so we can continue to win our Nation’s battles and celebrate Earth Day for another 50 years.
5. Information related to Earth Day can be found at: www.epa.gov/earthday.
6. Release authorized by MajGen E. D. Banta, Assistant Deputy Commandant, Installations and Logistics (Facilities).//