MCRD Parris Island wins 2021 Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award
13 Apr 2021

Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island was recognized for their efforts in leading the way in the Department of the Navy on environmental sustainability during a visit by the Secretary of the Navy April 1, 2021.

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.

Cmdr. Andrew Litteral, a public works officer aboard the depot, said the award is an example of the work that comes from Navy-Marine Corps joint efforts.

“Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command developed a handbook for adapting to climate change, and Parris Island was chosen to be the pilot location to use the handbook to perform a study on how the installation can adapt to become more resilient,” said Litteral. “We were able to get all the stakeholders together – from recruit training to experts in adapting to sea-level rise – to develop long term strategies for adaptation and more immediate responses like measurement devices to better understand what changes are occurring right here.”