NEW LONDON, Conn.—In light of Earth Day, the Coast Guard Academy celebrates its ongoing environmental conservation efforts, both on board CGA and in the community. In the past year, CGA has recycled 151,000 pounds of cardboard and 65,000 pounds of single stream. For the second year in a row, the Corps of Cadets earned first place in the Commander-in-Chief’s Great American Can Roundup, an aluminum can recycling competition against other service academies.
The Academy continues an aggressive electronic recycling program to divert electronic waste from its hazardous waste stream, including the reuse of computers, recycling of electronic equipment, and recycling of fluorescent bulbs, light ballasts, batteries, and mercury-containing equipment. Efforts are taken around the Academy to divert sediment discharge to the River and Storm Water System, such as bi-annual storm drain cleaning, street cleaning, storm drain signs, training of duty personnel to recognize elicit discharges, requiring erosion and sediment control measures on all excavation projects, and leveraging cadet resources to evaluate flooding issues in one lower parking lot. The Academy is also replacing less-environmentally friendly resources with more sustainable resources by gradually integrating electric vehicles into use instead of gas-fueled vehicles, utilizing LED lights in any project that requires lighting replacement, and incorporating a more environmentally-safe refrigerant into the Academy’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
Within the community, cadets have used their free time to contribute to a sustainable future. Last month, 11 cadets worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service preparing Outer Island, which is part of the Thimble Islands, for a pollinator garden for the candidate species Monarch Butterfly. This month, 15 cadets worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service preparing Faulkner Island for the seasonal return of the endangered species, Roseate Tern, and the largest colony of the Common Tern, which is a species of special concern in the state.