An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Sustainable solutions: 97th CES Environmental Element keeps installation green

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Miyah Gray
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

The 97th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Environmental Element hosts several programs, not only to conserve wildlife and resources on base, but to provide opportunities for Airmen and families to connect with nature.

Some of the element’s conservation programs include monitoring the air and water quality, hazardous materials and solid waste, restoration, environmental management systems, petroleum, oil, lubricants, natural and cultural resources, and recycling.

“Environmental’ s main objectives are compliance, conservation, and improving the quality of life on Altus Air Force Base,” said Lori Stevens, 97th CES environmental biologist. “That's why we’ve introduced things such as the fishing program and other outdoor activities to get people outside to reconnect with nature and realize that we have to protect the resources on the installation.”

The element’s fishing program consists of routinely stocking the base pond in support of the annual fishing derby. Once the fish are delivered, a sample size is weighed and tagged using passive integrated transponders in order to track their growth and the health of their environment.

Delaine Kelley, 97th CES natural resources program manager, stated that in addition to monitoring and conservation, the fishing derby provides an opportunity for Airmen and families to come together and connect.

“The reason we host events like this is to promote a sense of community with everyone on base,” said Kelley. “It gives us a chance to get everyone outside and do something fun.“

The element also tracks and monitors other wildlife on base using PIT tags and reconnaissance technology, including the Texas horned lizard, a species of special concern. The team has recently started a program to track their abundance and range on the base.

“All of the programs we have in place contribute to our conservation efforts by adhering to pollution prevention measures,” said Stevens. “Our continuous efforts ensure we refrain from contaminating our water or soil, operating within predefined limits. We strive for compliance by incessantly monitoring and devising plans to reduce and counteract any generated pollution. Our focus is on mitigating its impact.”