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NAVFAC Northwest employee receives first individual Navy award

In a ceremony today, Nov. 25, Cindi Kunz was awarded the first Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Readiness Division individual award in the Natural Resources Protection category by Rear Adm. Mark Rich commander, Navy Region Northwest, and by Capt. Chris LaPlatney, commanding officer of Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest.

“The award is a testament to the dedication of Kunz and her coworkers who strive on a daily basis to protect and preserve the environment and support the Navy mission.” said LaPlatney.

Kunz was selected for this award because of her leadership of a multi-discipline, multi-agency and non-agency panel of experts to determine the most appropriate acoustic level for the onset of injurious impacts to the marbled murrelet from impact pile driving. This panel included underwater acoustic technical experts from academia and scientists affiliated with non-Navy federal agencies.

It was through her leadership of the panel that Kunz advanced the understanding of the marbled murrelets’ biology, physiology and enhanced the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services’ ability to manage and conserve the species, and placed criteria for monitoring and recovery of the species on firm scientific footing.

Kunz demonstrated that partnerships between the U. S. Navy and regulatory agencies can be successful in developing scientifically based solutions to ecological and operational challenges.

Kunz is a certified wildlife biologist and has worked for NAVFAC Northwest since 2009.

The Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Readiness, N45 focuses on developing solutions that will allow U.S. naval forces to train for combat and effectively carry out their military missions while minimizing impacts on the environment. With carefully developed policy, planning, science and technological advances, environmental

readiness directly supports fleet combat readiness.

The marbled murrelet is a small coastal seabird that has a geographic range as far north as the Kenai Peninsula and as far south as San Diego. They were listed as ‘threatened’ in 1992 by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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