Nature Walk ribbon-cutting ceremony

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By Sgt. Dana Beesley, USMC

The U.S. Marine Corps cut the ribbon Thursday, April 22 – Earth Day – welcoming patrons to a nature walk during a ceremony on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

This ceremony comes on the wings of the depot winning the 2021 Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award, which recognized the depot for excellence in integrating environmental and operational sustainability efforts and mitigating impacts from storm surge and sea level rise through 2065.

Using the sewer line easement that connects to Beaufort and Jasper Counties, the path features native vegetation and views of the water.

Environmental Director Maj. Marc Blair explained that the Environmental Division’s ultimate mission aboard the depot is to foster awareness and appreciation for the environment through events like the ribbon cutting ceremony, which also featured local vendors and artists, as well as community programs.

“The Environmental Division ensures sustainability and environmental protection through environmental restoration, compliance and pollution prevention,” Blair said. “We ensure the depot can continue to train Marines, not just today, but in the future as well.”

John Holloway, Natural Resources Manager, said that by 2022, the division hopes to build onto this space and develop the nature trail farther along the depot. 

“We want to establish a trailhead, informational signs along the path, and plant more trees in the future,” Holloway said.

Parris Island wins 2021 Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award

By Gunnery Sgt. Tyler Hlavac, USMC

Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island was recognized for its efforts in leading the way in the Department of the Navy on environmental sustainability during an April 1 visit by the Secretary of the Navy.

During his first visit to the base, Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas W. Harker presented the depot with the 2021 Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award, which recognized the depot for excellence in integrating environmental and operational sustainability efforts and mitigating impacts from storm surge and sea level rise through 2065.

In a memo announcing the depot as this year’s winner, Harker said the depot’s efforts “demonstrated that early and deliberate planning could yield a benefit cost ratio of 5.21, providing $675 million of net infrastructure, training and human health benefits, thus maximizing the operational budget and securing the depot’s mission.”

The depot was also recognized by Harker for maintaining a partnership with Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and the Lowcountry Council of Governments, a partnership that obtained a $467,000 grant via the Office of Economic Adjustment in Fiscal Year 2021 to address local resiliency efforts. The award is a recognition of long-running efforts aboard the depot to support energy conservation and environmental sustainability.

In 2019, the depot finished construction on a new power plant that works toward achieving energy security and resilience for the depot as well as conserving energy and water usage. The project provides several on-site distributed sources of generation, coupled with battery storage and a smart utility grid that will reduce the number and duration of utility outages.

Col. Timothy R. Dremann, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island Chief of Staff, cuts the ribbon on Thursday, April 22, welcoming patrons to the nature walk during a ceremony on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. This ceremony comes on the wings of the depot winning the 2021 Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award, which recognized the depot for excellence in integrating environmental and operational sustainability efforts and mitigating impacts from storm surge and sea level rise through 2065.