NEW LONDON, Conn. — The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection recognized staff and faculty of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Monday for their environmental efforts at a GreenCircle awards ceremony at its headquarters in Hartford, Conn.
Coast Guard Academy cadets and staff partnered with Connecticut Audubon, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Connecticut College and New London Magnet School to build 200 nesting boxes for the Roseate Tern, a state and federally listed endangered bird. Tropical Storm Irene destroyed 200 nesting boxes, located on Falkner Island, critical to the survival of the Roseate Tern. The special ground boxes are designed to protect eggs and young chicks from predators like herons, owls, gulls and other raptors. Before the nesting boxes were used, approximately 30% of hatched tern chicks successfully fledged. With nesting boxes, the fledging rate increased to 81%.
“The prestigious GreenCirlce Award Program is now celebrating its fourteenth year with recognition of voluntary efforts, both large and small, that make an environmental difference in our state of Connecticut,” said Dan Esty, Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “Through this program, DEEP is able to recongize environmental achievements of individuals, civic organizations, businesses and schools for their impact on the quality of life in Connecticut.”
Since the agency launched the GreenCircle Award Program in 1998, approximately 1,025 awards have been granted to people, businesses, schools and organizations to recognize more than 1,450 projects that have made a real difference in preserving resources and protecting the quality of the state’s air, water and lands.
The award ceremony recognized the efforts of two groups: businesses, who, by their actions, are becoming ‘greener’ everyday and individuals, whose tireless efforts make a positive environmental impact in their homes, schools and communities. The actions of the award winners make Connecticut a better place for all who live and work here, said Esty.
Since the program began fourteen years ago, GreenCircle award winners have made tremendous improvements, including reducing:
- Water use by more than 645,000,000 gallons each year (municipal, river and/or well water)
- Air emissions by 11,500,000 pounds each year
- Hazardous waste generation by more than 1,000,000 pounds each year (including 750+ pounds of elemental mercury)
- Spent solvents by more than 920,000 gallons each year
- Solid waste by more than 9,000 tons each year
GreenCircle recipients are presented a certificate of commendation and recognized publicly for their efforts. The GreenCircle Program is an on-going award program and award categories are for both common and innovative activities in the environmental field. For a list of GreenCircle award recipients and a description of the program, visit the DEEP website at www.dep.state.ct.us.