Two receive Navy awards | News | The Press and Standard

by | July 14, 2017 5:00 pm

Last Updated: July 12, 2017 at 10:39 am

By CINDY CROSBY

cindyc4@yahoo.com

Two local residents, Billy Drawdy and Gary Herndon, were honored by receiving the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Environment Excellence Award for Natural Resources (Large Installation) for their work with the United States Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) in Beaufort.

Drawdy and Herndon received their recognition during the SECNAV Environmental Awards Program held June 29 at the Navy Memorial Heritage Center in Washington, D.C.

The annual Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Environmental Awards Program recognizes organizations and people for outstanding performance in promoting environmental stewardship.  Awards are presented for accomplishments in natural resources conservation, cultural resources management, environmental quality, sustainability, environmental restoration, environmental excellence in weapon system acquisition, and environmental planning.

Both Drawdy, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs officer, and Herndon, Natural Resources manager, were honored based on projects completed in 2016 that included protecting the marsh environment by stabilizing the banks of Albergottie Creek, a tidal-influenced creek located along the edge of a former landfill; negating the threat of erosion of the edge of Mulligan Creek to ensure the newly-installed Landing Helicopter Dock can be used well into the future; enhancing the park located at Hunting Island Beach by removing dead trees, debris and rotting stumps; initiating an effort at Townsend Bombing Range (TBR) to create a five-million-acre conservation area that prevents incompatible use of lands, as well as preserving populations of protected species, such as the gopher tortoise; and managing the forest area surrounding the airfield to accommodate new security fencing while preserving a natural habitat for wildlife.

According to the SECNAV program, the mission of the MCAS in Beaufort is to provide support as an operational base to Marine Corps and Navy fighter squadrons.

The station hosts approximately 5,000 personnel and owns TBR in Georgia for air-to-ground bombing training by aviation units stationed at MCAS Beaufort and elsewhere. MCAS Beaufort has developed an individual Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan (INRMP) for each property to encourage cooperation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State Wildlife Agency.

Both Drawdy and Herndon are John C. Calhoun (Colleton Prep) and Clemson graduates and both grew up at Tabor.

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