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Volunteers collect trash, debris on Fort DeRussy beach, beach berm for 2019 USACE Earth Day

Volunteers collect trash, debris on Fort DeRussy beach, beach berm for 2019 USACE Earth Day

Story by Dino Buchanan on 04/29/2019

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Honolulu District and Pacific Ocean Division leadership, District and Tripler Army Medical Center employees joined forces with Punahou School Junior ROTC cadet volunteers to clean the Fort DeRussy area beach and beach berm April 27 for Earth Day 2019.

The 2019 U.S. Army Earth Day theme is “Sustain the Environment to Secure the Mission.”

“This a great opportunity for the Corps of Engineers employees to partner with local volunteers to sustain the beautiful environment of Hawaii we enjoy so much,” Lt. Col. Kathryn Sanborn, Honolulu District Commander told the more than 45 volunteers prior to the clean-up. Joining Sanborn at the cleanup was U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pacific Ocean Division Command Sgt. Major Patrickson Toussaint.

This was the 14th consecutive year Honolulu District held the Earth Day-focused event by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pacific Regional Visitor Center (RVC) at Battery Randolph on Fort DeRussy in Waikiki.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Rangers Angela Jones and Stephen Lawlor coordinated and led the beach sweep with assistance from Punahou School Junior ROTC program commander Lt. Col. (ret.) Robert Takao.

More than 25 cadets and the other volunteers scoured the beach area fronting and adjacent to the Fort DeRussy beach park collecting nearly 70 pounds of debris.

Takao said the Corps’ Earth Day event is one of several community support events the cadets participate in each year as part of their JROTC training program.

“We had a great volunteer turnout and collected more trash this year,” Lawlor said after the clean-up. “Our Earth Day event shows the Corps’ commitment to protect and preserve the environment we live in.”

Each year Earth Month and Earth Day activities increase awareness and support for ongoing education and efforts to build partnerships and grassroots involvement to keep the ‘aina clean year-round. Earth Day was established March 21, 1970 as an annual event to deepen reverence and care for life on the planet.

Though Earth Day was originally designed to bring public awareness to environmental issues, the U.S. Army uses this day to highlight environmental successes and help people understand how sound environmental stewardship not only supports the quality of Soldier training, but also the quality of life of families that live on Army installations and neighboring communities.

Having one of the largest federal environmental missions and being the Nation’s environmental engineer, USACE is committed to taking care of the environment and creating a mutually supporting economic and environmentally sustainable solutions. An umbrella concept, sustainability includes energy, climate change, and the environment to ensure today’s actions do not negatively impact tomorrow. Environmentally sustainable events held each year by Honolulu District aligns and supports the Corps commitment.

The Corps’ Pacific Regional Visitor Center first opened its doors at Battery Randolph in 1983. Its goal is to enhance the public’s understanding of the multidimensional role of the U.S. Army and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Particular emphasis is on Civil Works and water resources development which affect the lives of all the residents of Hawaii and the people of the Pacific.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Honolulu District continues to strive to live to our principles and develop better practices that show we are the Engineer of Choice within the Pacific, delivering quality products and services on time and within budget.

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