In line with an executive order from President Barack Obama, military leaders in the Chesapeake Bay area are looking to do their part to help save the environment.
Last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, Gov. Martin O’Malley and other local leaders met to discuss ways to keep the bay clean. Topics tackled include adoption of hybrid vehicles to reduce dependence on foreign oil, reducing polluted runoff from military parking lots, and constructing more environmentally friendly buildings.
Rain gardens that trap storm water and pavement that allows rain to filter through to the ground below are some of the tools that are being considered. The military will be using a database called BayStat to keep track of restoration efforts.
The presidential order outlines cutting nitrogen, phosphorus and other runoff contaminants that spur the growth of oxygen-robbing algae blooms. The strategy also orders the federal government to lead by example by implementing projects such as the one in Chesapeake Bay.
The military is a large landowner in the area, with 68 Department of Defense facilities.
“What we do on each of them matters and makes a difference,” Mabus told the commanders.