Earth Day Highlights
ARMY EARTH DAY MESSAGE
April 22, 2023
By HON Rachel L. Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment
On April 22, the Army will join the nation and many other countries to celebrate Earth Day. The theme this year is “Invest in Our Planet.” The Army has been celebrating Earth Day for more than 50 years and has been investing in our planet for even longer.
Investments in environmental conservation, compliance, and restoration provide immeasurable returns. These investments maximize the availability of training and testing land, and enable Soldiers to maintain mission readiness. Investments in energy and water security enhance sustainability and prepare installations to mitigate the effects of climate change. Investments in Army infrastructure ensure we have modern installations supporting our military mission and Army families.
Another important investment we’ve been making is in managing and protecting threatened and endangered species since the passage of the Endangered Species Act, 50 years ago. Today, the Army and Army National Guard provide a home to more than 250 different threatened and endangered species on its installations, training areas and sites. And because of our investments, many species are on the road to recovery.
For more than 20 years, the Army’s Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) Program has demonstrated the benefit of shared investments in conservation. Working together with a wide array of stakeholders, the ACUB Program been used to protect land from incompatible development that could affect mission capabilities. ACUB investments in mitigation projects have reduced on-post restrictions by providing off-post habitat for threatened and endangered species.
Recent Congressional expansion of Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program now allow the ACUB Program to fund climate resilience projects, such as natural infrastructure solutions for climate adaptation. We encourage installations to make more use of these innovative partnerships.
Earth Day provides us a chance to showcase the many successes Army has achieved in environmental stewardship, and reminds us how our work is an investment in the future of the planet.