Station embraces Earth Day with seawall cleanup
Senator Gaylord Nelson established the idea for Earth Day in 1969. The following year, it was celebrated for the first time on April 22.
Station residents gathered at the seawall north of Penny Lake here to volunteer their time to clean up the environment in support of the 43rd Earth Day, April 19, 2013.
“Every year, the station celebrates the month of April as the environmental awareness month,” said Chuck Hill, Facilities Environmental Branch spill and tank manager. “All around the world, people are becoming more aware of the importance of keeping our environment clean. If everyone makes a small contribution, it can have a large impact.”
The cleanup lasted about four hours and was attended by approximately 75 participants.
“I participated because I was a little surprised at the amount of trash I had seen along the seawall while I was fishing with a friend,” said Staff Sgt. Philip Roderick, Marine Aircraft Group 12 career planner and seawall cleanup participant. “When you’re in a boat and looking from the other direction at low tide, you can see much more than is visible when you're running along the seawall. It also got me outside for a couple of hours and gave me a chance to do something a little different.”
The cleanup celebrates April 22, declared International Mother Earth Day by the United Nations in 1970.
“We collected about five two-ton stake truck loads,” said Hill. “The trash accumulates over the years and washes up with the tide. Once it gets on the seawall, it usually just sits there unless another tide or storm pulls it down and back into the water. The trash not only looks bad, but it can create a nautical hazard for small craft.”
The trash creates more than just a hazard for humans though.
“The more trash we get out of the water, the better it is for the ocean. It's not good for the marine life out there,” said Roderick.
The cleanup is just the beginning to fixing the pollution problem. Hill also recommended keeping trash containers closed and secure, picking up trash off the ground and calling the environmental office if something is unusual.