Best of 2012: 4) Going "green" is a natural choice
We’re bringing in the new year with a look back at our milestones for 2012. Check back each day for featured events and activities from across the Northeast!
Have you gone “green” yet? In 2012, the Service’s Northeast Region worked to reduce our carbon footprint. We made some “green” improvements this year, which included making some changes to facilities and participating in sustainable practices that supported species recovery efforts.
In May, the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex opened a new visitor center and headquarters at Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge in Shirley. The 13,000-square-foot center includes a number of “green” features:
- Water efficient structures that will save about 26,000 gallons of water a year
- A geothermal system that reduces the use of fossil fuels for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. This energy savings would be enough to heat three medium-sized houses and cool one house for a year
- Flooring made from recycled rubber from old tires and carpeting made of recycled materials
- Wood trim from plantation-grown trees, helping to preserve wild forests
- A solar photovoltaic system on the roof that will reduce the building’s power consumption.
Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in Connecticut, as part of a team led by the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, won the 2012 GreenGov Presidential Award in the Green Dream Team category. The refuge developed a partnership with the Sustainability Club at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to support roseate tern management efforts on Falkner Island. In November 2011, the refuge, U.S. Coast Guard Academy and students from New London’s Science and Technology Magnet High School built 200 nesting boxes for the federally endangered bird, to replace those that were lost or damaged during Tropical Storm Irene.
The Service’s Northeast Regional office in Hadley, Massachusetts installed a new rooftop photovoltaic solar energy system that includes 416 solar panels, which will supply about 10 percent of the building’s electricity needs. Air-conditioning and heating systems have been upgraded at the building and areas have been re-carpeted with recycled carpets.