Naval Security Group Activity

Daily Point of Light # 1370 May 5, 1999

Nestled in some of the most unspoiled beauty in America, Naval Security Group (NSGA) Sugar Grove has taken the lead in this community's effort to preserve the wilderness by recycling, conserving natural resources and taking special care of the land, waterways and air. This flagship program extends to each department and into the entire local community.

The base enjoys the services of two dedicated Environmental Protection Specialists and two Conservation Officers who lead the effort and help guide an innovative recycling program. NSGA Sugar Grove recycled more than 66 tons of domestic solid waste from clogging local landfills since the beginning of 1998. This increase is due, in part, to the base taking a leadership role in expanding the recycling effort to include Pendleton County, a remote rural area and the only region in the state without a formal recycling program. Sailors claimed cardboard refuse at 21 locations throughout the county and then construction began on a large recycling building on the base. The building will house state-of-the-art recycling equipment, including a 55-gallon drum crusher, can crushers and balers, a glass crusher and other machinery. NSGA Sugar Grove residents, sailors and employees fill receptacle units so Public Works members can collect and recycle the cardboard, plastic and glass.

A demolition effort by NSGA Sugar Grove truly set the pace for service and saved the government nearly $1 million. Out of this project—tearing down a useless hulking radio antenna at the Operations Site—came nearly $900,000 in savings and profit. More than 1,600 tons of concrete pillars was crushed into manageable sizes and used as "rip-rap" to help block erosion in gullies at the Operations Site. Instead of smooth channels where water can rush through in flash floods, the big rocks slow the water and cut down on flood damage. The Navy saved $80,000, not to mention the lush acres of vegetation covering where the antenna once loomed and where other bare ground was eroding.

Department of Navy personnel benefit from the base's commitment to its natural resource conservation efforts, including local hunters, fishing enthusiasts and people who drive by the county roads. There is an obvious benefit to four-legged inhabitants of the area, also. Someone once said, "If we don't start taking care of our environment, someday, we'll all be buried in our own refuse." That someone was one of the stewards of West Virginia's pristine natural resources, a member of the NSGA of Sugar Grove, a group that continues to be a leader in land and environment preservation.