DoD Environment in the News
This Associated Press article highlighted ESTCP’s ongoing demonstration of the aerial application of toxic mice as bait to attract invasive brown tree snakes on the island of Guam. These snakes have caused catastrophic changes to the island’s native birds and economy. The aerial baiting technology will provide an additional level of defense against snakes getting into outbound cargo, decreasing the probability of snakes being introduced to new vulnerable areas like the Hawaiian islands. NBCNEWS.com, abcNEWS.com, and The Washington Post all carried the story.
DoD has released its annual Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP), which outlines the Department’s goals and sustainability performance expectations through FY 2020. For the first time as part of this update, an adaptation roadmap identifies the steps DoD will take to ensure the sustainability of its operations and infrastructure under climate change.
As reported by FoxNews.com, a novel cold spray technology successfully demonstrated by ESTCP will help save corroded Black Hawk helicopter parts from premature retirement. The coating system has been approved by the Sikorsky Aircraft Company and the Army Program Office for use on one UH-60 Black Hawk component with future approvals anticipated for the entire H-60 helicopter family.
As part of a joint departmental effort to strengthen the nation’s energy independence and reduce military utility costs, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar have signed a memorandum of understanding detailing the use of withdrawn military lands, as well as onshore and offshore lands near military installations, for development of renewable energy.
On National Public Radio's Science Friday program, Robert Kwartin, Vice President and Director of Renewable Energy Practices at ICF International, discusses how DoD is at the forefront of renewable energy development. In the interview Kwartin describes an ESTCP-funded study, conducted by ICF, which determined the potential for 7,000 megawatts of solar energy production on DoD installations in the Mojave Desert.
DoD's stewardship efforts to defend and sustain threatened, endangered, and at-risk species and their habitats, while at the same time providing high-quality natural environments for military training, is the focus of the Spring 2011 edition of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Endangered Species Bulletin. The bulletin highlights initiatives and organizations, including SERDP and ESTCP, that are assisting DoD in its conservation endeavor.
On National Public Radio's Science Friday program, Rear Admiral David Titley, Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy and Director of the U.S. Navy's Task Force on Climate Change, discusses how "melting glaciers, changing sea ice, and rising sea levels might affect Navy operations in the Arctic and around the world – and how the Navy is preparing." In the interview, Rear Admiral Titley cites ongoing SERDP studies to assess critical regional and local impacts of sea-level rise on some of DoD's key coastal installations.
At the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-16) held November 29 - December 10, 2010, in Cancun, Mexico, representatives from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) provided an overview of how climate change will impact the DoD and how DoD may contribute to the development of climate change solutions. The four-person panel included SERDP and ESTCP Director Dr. Jeffrey Marqusee, who spoke on ongoing research to help prepare U.S. installations to adapt to climate change.
Speaking at Andrews Air Force Base in late March, President Obama credited the military’s leadership in energy security and singled out this multi-Service ESTCP project to test a light-armoured vehicle on a mixture of biofuels.
Dina Fine Maron, "Pentagon Making Room for Wildlife at Military Bases," New York Times, February 18, 2010.
This article highlights DoD efforts to partner with local governments and private groups to buy land or easements to serve as undeveloped buffers around bases. These buffers provide habitat for threatened, endangered, and at-risk species, and they also minimize competition with residential areas near bases for air space, radio frequencies, and water supplies.