April 22, 2023
On April 22, the Army will join the nation and many citizens of the world 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 the environment - whether through conservation, compliance or restoration - provide immeasurable returns. For the Army, these investments maximize the availability of training and testing land and enable Soldiers to maintain mission readiness. Plus, our investments in energy and water security enhance sustainability and prepare installations to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Another important investment we've been making is in recovery of endangered species. Since the passage of the Endangered Species Act 50 years ago, Army has played an active role in careful habitat management to help protect threatened and endangered species. Today, Army lands provide a home to more than 250 different threatened and endangered species. And because of our investments, many species are on the road to recovery.
The Army's Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) Program has demonstrated the benefit of collaborative investments in conservation. Working together with a wide array of stakeholders, for over twenty years the ACUB Program has protected off-post land from incompatible development that could affect mission capabilities. These investments have also mitigated on-post restrictions by providing off-post habitat for threatened and endangered species.
Recent Congressional authorities now allow the ACUB Program to fund climate resilience projects, such as natural infrastructure solutions for climate adaptation and protection of water in arid areas. We encourage all Army 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.