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Unit of the Quarter: NAVFAC Atlantic Volunteers Clean up Trash to Ensure the Health of the Chesapeake Bay

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Norfolk, VA—Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic recently sponsored Command volunteers for “Clean the Bay Day,” which is an effort to help clean trash from around the Chesapeake Bay area. The event is held annually, and it has seen over 165,000 volunteers collect more than seven million pounds of debris from along over 8,000 miles of the Chesapeake Bay shoreline since 1989. This year, volunteers collected more than 475 pounds of trash from the fence line around the base and the Lafayette River Annex. The haul included a wide array of trash, including fishing gear, used sports equipment, and microplastics. This kind of debris can cause extensive damage to water quality and to any wildlife that call the Bay home. 

This year’s event co-coordinator, NAVFAC Atlantic supervisory environmental engineer Tim Wenk, was pleased with this year’s efforts, and he praised Command volunteers: “Despite the muggy weather and threat of thunderstorms, we had a great turnout of volunteers from the Command.” He also went on to recognize the importance of the Chesapeake Bay to the area’s water quality and overall environmental well-being: “The Chesapeake Bay is an incredibly valuable resource for our area, and it’s important for us to try anything we can to help improve the habitat and water quality of the Bay and its tributaries.” Volunteers also work on restoration efforts around the Bay, hoping to deter trash buildup around the Bay in the future. Often, the same people from the Command volunteer from year to year, and they are passionate about ensuring the health of the Bay. 

For their efforts to make the Chesapeake Bay area healthier for the people who depend on it, Salute recognizes NAVFAC Atlantic and its Command volunteers as our Unit of the Quarter for the Fall of 2022. If you have a unit you would like to recognize for its commitment to service, please email your suggestions to megan.kessler@familymedia.com. 

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