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Earth Day 2024 at NSA Souda Bay

22 April 2024

From Nicholas S. Tenorio

Solid waste and wastewater recycling. Solar energy. Electric vehicles. These are just a few of the sustainable and earth-friendly programs at Naval Support Activity Souda Bay.
Solid waste and wastewater recycling. Solar energy. Electric vehicles. These are just a few of the sustainable and earth-friendly programs at Naval Support Activity  Souda Bay.

Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. The theme for Earth Day 2024 is “Planet vs. Plastic”, and the goal is to reduce the production of plastics by 60 percent by 2040.

“Earth Day is an opportunity to reflect on our behaviors that impact the environment around us,” said Cmdr. James Kotora, executive officer, NSA Souda Bay. “There are long-term effects to the way we do business, which will impact the environment that we leave for our children and grandchildren.”

NSA Souda Bay maintains a robust recycling program that captures solid waste, wastewater, and organic waste composting. For example, in 2023, the installation recycled 27.3 percent of its solid waste, equating to 32.8 tons of recycled material.

Len Sinfield, manager of the environmental compliance program, Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, points to a controlled recycling area sign onboard NSA Souda Bay on April 17, 2024.
Len Sinfield, manager of the environmental compliance program, Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, points to a controlled recycling area sign onboard NSA Souda Bay on April 17, 2024.
Len Sinfield, manager of the environmental compliance program, Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, points to a controlled recycling area sign onboard NSA Souda Bay on April 17, 2024.
Earth Day 2024 at NSA Souda Bay
Len Sinfield, manager of the environmental compliance program, Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, points to a controlled recycling area sign onboard NSA Souda Bay on April 17, 2024.
Photo By: Nicholas S. Tenorio
VIRIN: 240417-N-YD328-1010


“On an island, landfill space is at a premium,” explains Len Sinfield, the program manager for environmental compliance at NSA Souda Bay. “Landfills are also one of the biggest emitters of methane, one of the most destructive emissions to the ozone. A good way to reduce the reliance on landfills is to put less waste in them by recycling.”

NSA Souda Bay utilizes a colorized recycling method identical to the Cretan economy. Green bins for normal waste, blue bins for recycling, and yellow for glass.

“As an installation of foreign soil, we are limited by the recycling services available in the local community,” continued Sinfield. “Fortunately, on the island of Crete, there are a lot of great recycling programs that we can contribute to. In this way, we help the host nation meet their recycling targets.”

NSA Souda Bay also relies on solar energy to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the installation. At present, the installation generates about seven percent of its energy demand from photovoltaic cells, while the expansion of this capacity to an estimated 35 percent is currently underway.

In addition to photovoltaic technology, the installation also utilizes solar hot water heaters, highly efficient LED bulbs to illuminate workspaces, and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to power the current fleet of four EVs.  

Naval Support Activity Souda Bay utilizes solar energy panels in order to meet the base’s energy demand and reduce its carbon footprint.
Naval Support Activity Souda Bay utilizes solar energy panels in order to meet the base’s energy demand and reduce its carbon footprint.
Naval Support Activity Souda Bay utilizes solar energy panels in order to meet the base’s energy demand and reduce its carbon footprint.
Earth Day 2024 at NSA Souda Bay
Naval Support Activity Souda Bay utilizes solar energy panels in order to meet the base’s energy demand and reduce its carbon footprint.
Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Delaney S. Jensen
VIRIN: 240422-N-EM691-2016


“The installation of EV charging stations helps us to decarbonize,” said Aris Papadaki, installation energy manager, NSA Souda Bay. “EVs help reduce our fuel consumption and are a more energy friendly option.”

The installation is in the process of procuring more EVs, with the ultimate goal of reaching the Navy’s Climate Action target by 2030. The Department of the Navy intends on acquiring 100 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2035, including 100 percent zero-emission light-duty vehicle acquisitions by 2027.

As the “Premiere Installation of Choice” and a support element to U.S. Navy, Allied, and Coalition vessels, it is important that NSA Souda Bay is ready to respond in the event of a mishap that could have a negative impact on the environment.
The port operations team at the NATO Marathi Pier Complex routinely trains its Sailors with the most up-to-date on techniques on oil spill response. One such training was completed on April 19, 2024, where members of the team exercised boom handling skills and skimming methods to contain spills.

Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Jenna Guthrie and Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Sean Sweetay, both assigned to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, practice deploying an oil boom during an oil spill prevention and response training exercise at the NATO Marathi Pier Complex on April 19, 2024.
Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Jenna Guthrie and Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Sean Sweetay, both assigned to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, practice deploying an oil boom during an oil spill prevention and response training exercise at the NATO Marathi Pier Complex on April 19, 2024.
Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Jenna Guthrie and Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Sean Sweetay, both assigned to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, practice deploying an oil boom during an oil spill prevention and response training exercise at the NATO Marathi Pier Complex on April 19, 2024.
Earth Day 2024 at NSA Souda Bay
Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Jenna Guthrie and Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Sean Sweetay, both assigned to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, practice deploying an oil boom during an oil spill prevention and response training exercise at the NATO Marathi Pier Complex on April 19, 2024.
Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Delaney S. Jensen
VIRIN: 240419-N-EM691-1074


"Oil spill prevention and response is one of the most important missions we do,” said Lt. Mark Owen, port operations officer, NSA Souda Bay. “Not only does it protect the beautiful coastal waters we work near, but it also demonstrates our commitment to being good guests with our host nation partners.”

“At NSA Souda Bay, our mission is to provide world-class support services to the Fleet,” said Kotora. “Along the way, we must also act as responsible stewards of the environment. These two things are not mutually exclusive.”
 
 

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