Coast Guard members celebrate Earth Day

Members search for trash

Coast Guard members pick up trash on Earth Day.

Story and photos by Seaman Erika Lindquist

For the past six years, local Coast Guard shipmates have come together to take care of Coast Guard Island by cleaning the shoreline and protecting the local marine environment.  Unfortunately, the geographic position of the island allows for a large amount of waste to come in from the water.  If left alone, this waste could affect the habits of migratory birds and other marine life in the Bay.April 22, 2014, began with a safety brief for the numerous service members, civilians and members from other local agencies to make them aware of the potential for hazardous waste found along the shoreline.  Volunteers, wearing gloves and protective gear, were dispersed in groups to cover sections of the base.

 “We are contributing to the overall Bay by cleaning up our shoreline; pollution-wise, we are reducing a significant amount of trash,” said Tom Ivey, chief of the Environmental Division on Coast Guard Island and the organizer of the event.

Capt. Michael L. Woolard, commanding officer of Coast Guard Base Alameda, said the Earth Day Cleanup allows all ranks and rates to come together for a common goal.

 “This event shows that no one is above picking up garbage,” said Woolard.

“Today, I’ve seen all of us come together to work as team in order to show pride in where we work and live,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Perry, a yeoman assigned to Base Alameda.

This event is not the only thing that the participants do to help keep the Earth clean.

Perry participates with “Hands On Bay Area” in numerous clean-ups around Alameda. Woolard teaches his children the positives of recycling and cleaning up the garbage in the waterways. Ivey has dedicated 20 years to a career in environmental regulation and protection, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Miguel Corona, an electrician’s mate assigned to Base Alameda, started a recycling program for the facilities engineering department.

Coast Guard members working together for Earth Day

Several Coast Guard members from the Coast Guard Base Alameda medical clinic work together to pickup trash along the shoreline at Coast Guard Island.

Earth Day is a global celebration that began with the idea that the planet on which we live is worth protecting. It originated in the United States in 1970 and was first held in schools and communities across the country. Today, the event is held annually on April 22 in 192 countries, all coordinated by the Earth Day Network. The purpose is to focus on sustaining the environment for the current population and for the future. “By conducting this clean-up today, we are furthering the main mission of Earth Day as well as the Coast Guard’s mission of marine environmental protection,” said Woolard. 

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