DEP Northwest District Presents Environmental Stewardship Award

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DEP Northwest District Presents Environmental
Stewardship Award

~District recognizes NAS Whiting Field for work to protect
Florida's natural resources~

DEP Northwest District Presents Environmental Stewardship Award

From left: Bill Ryan; Jonathan Stewart; Brooke Boyd; Commander Jim Brownlee,
Executive Officer, NAS Whiting Field; Shawn Hamilton, Northwest District Director;
Jeff Kissler; and Christina Malitz.

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Yesterday, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Northwest District recognized Naval Air Station Whiting Field for outstanding environmental stewardship.

The environmental stewardship awards program recognizes businesses, professional and community organizations, and local governments within DEP's Northwest District for proactive, innovative and exceptional achievements to prevent or reduce impacts on the environment beyond measures required by permit or rule. To be considered for recognition, participants must demonstrate significant and measurable achievements that provide a direct benefit to Florida's environment.

“On behalf of DEP and the State of Florida, I am proud to recognize NAS Whiting Field for their accomplishments and environmental stewardship,” said Shawn Hamilton, director of DEP’s Northwest District. “With outstanding community partners like NAS Whiting Field going above and beyond what is required of them, we can better protect, conserve and manage Florida’s natural resources for future generations.”  

Whiting Field’s nomination included the following environmental achievements:

  • Reduction in water consumption by nearly 24 percent through fiscal year 2018 due to proactive measures to emphasize water conservation, reduce irrigation, and monitor water pressure and consumption to identify potential issues.
  • In coordination with the Secretary of Navy’s Renewable Energy Program Office, finalized an agreement with Gulf Power Company to construct a 305-acre intermittent solar farm located on Navy Outlying Landing Field Holley that will provide 52 gigawatts of electricity. The Navy, in partnership with Gulf Power, completed the installation of over 400,000 solar panels providing enough renewable energy to power 6,000 homes.
  • Whiting Park Marina was designated by DEP in 2015 as the state's 291st Clean Marina and the second Clean Marina in Santa Rosa County under Florida's Clean Marina Program.
  • Actively manages nearly 800 acres through prescribed fire to support habitat health and enhancement, wild fire prevention and invasive species control.
  • Wildlife inventory investigations for gopher tortoise and their burrow habitats. Gopher tortoises are protected under the Endangered Species Act, and these annual assessments provide valuable data to manage critical resources.
  • Potable water system has been awarded DEP’s Plant Operations Excellence Award every year since 2012.
  • In April 2018, NAS celebrated Earth Day interacting with over 1,000 students and nearly 300 personnel form NAS Whiting Field on a variety of environmental education topics such as natural resource management, water conservation, land management and prescribed fire, and energy savings concepts.

The award was presented during the district’s annual open house aimed at growing the community’s awareness of the agency’s mission, increasing communication and developing collaborative relationships. Guests were invited to meet the district’s staff and leadership team. Permitting and compliance experts from each of the district's regulatory programs – Waste, Air, Water and Environmental Resources – were on hand to answer questions and provide information about their respective programs to more than 100 attendees.