Glacier Bay National Park Receives Environmental Program Recognition
Contact: Allison Banks, Public Information Officer, 907-697-2230
Each year, the National Park Service presents Environmental Achievement Awards to acknowledge exceptional achievements and contributions by park units across the USA. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve was one of 19 units recognized in 2007. The park received honorable mentions for its environmental management and stewardship programs and sustainable design/green building.
At Glacier Bay environmental management is viewed as a cooperative all-encompassing program that includes recycling, green purchasing, use of environmentally friendly products, universal waste management and other programs developed through creative planning and cooperative efforts by park managers and staff. Here are some of our 2007 accomplishments:
Recycling / waste reduction: Over 95% of the park’s solid waste is reused, recycled, or shipped out for processing. Aluminum, paper products, steel, #1 and #2 plastics batteries, fluorescent lights, computers, and used toner cartridges. Even demolition materials are recycled or reused whenever possible. Glass is pulverized and used to stabilize roads. 65% of waste generated by park visitor use is sorted, recycled, or chipped. All food waste from park housing, offices, and the Lodge concessionaire is combined with woodchips and brush from downed trees and becomes available as topsoil for the community. Processed sewage sludge is spread as fertilizer.
Energy and fuel conservation: Lights and some water faucets are on motion detectors or timers. Most lighting is now fluorescent or compact fluorescent. Heat recovery ventilation units have been installed in employee quarters to reduce energy consumption and improve air quality. Used oil and sludge from generators, vehicles and vessels is used to heat buildings. There are now 4 Neighborhood Electric Vehicles in regular use around Bartlett Cove. More park vessels are running off cleaner quieter 4 stroke engines. Old appliances are being replaced with models meeting Energy Star guidelines.
Pollution prevention: We use bio-remediating parts washers that use an environmentally friendly degreaser. All chemical purchasing is consolidated to avoid duplications with environmentally friendly products preferred. We work with and collaborate with the U.S. Coast Guard in offering HAZWOPER classes and annual drills to our employees and to the community.
Did You Know?
John Muir, beloved naturalist and father of Yosemite National Park, came to Glacier Bay in 1879 to find direct evidence of the presence of glaciers. He believed that Yosemite had been carved by glacier and was able to validate his hypothesis with what he saw in Glacier Bay.