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NEWS | April 18, 2019

Celebrating Earth Day Through Community Efforts

By Anna Marie G. General Commander Navy Region Hawaii

In support of Earth Month, the Navy and Air Force highlighted efforts to achieve sustainability and environmental restoration in a series of events throughout the month of April. These efforts provided an opportunity to build relationships across commands, government agencies and the local communities in Hawaii.

Some of the events included bike path cleanups, informational booths, family Earth Day celebrations, ancient Hawaiian land preservation, and learning about native plants and birds. 

As part of the “50 for 50” initiative, Navy Region Hawaii and the City and County of Honolulu hosted the annual Pearl Harbor Bike Path cleanup in the vicinity of Aiea Kai Way and Aiea Bay State Recreation Park.

More than 50 volunteers participated in this cleanup effort on April 12. Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) and Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific (ATG MIDPAC) were among the volunteers.

“More than 3 tons of trash was collected from six cleanup locations along the bike path by all the participants,” said Kyle Tokuda, community relations specialist for the City and County of Honolulu. “The military collected a total of 1,940 lbs of the 3 tons. Everyone did an awesome job.”

In addition to the Pearl Harbor Bike Path cleanup; the Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s (MWR) Outdoor Recreation department held a two-day Earth Day celebration at Hickam Harbor on April 12 and 13 in partnership with Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii Environmental which included family fun, games, live music, camping in the park, reef walking and more.

“There were more than 500 people who attended on both days. It was a good turnout, the weather was nice and we had a constant flow of people,” said Hana Lambur, program coordinator for MWR Outdoor Recreation. “On the first day, we had a movie night and camping at the park which went well. On the second day, we had 16 vendors, informational booths, a touch pool for kids, arts and crafts and more.”

Several other events took place during the month where volunteers participated in a restoration event to remove invasive weeds and to restore a habitat for native plants and birds at Ahua Reef, a coastal wetland located on the Hickam side of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. 

The Earth Month events conclude with an Earth Day on the Bay at Pacific Missile Range Facility on Barking Sands, Kauai on April 26, and a fishpond cleanup at Loko Pa’aiau on April 27 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Earth Day is acknowledged annually on April 22, but the Navy and Air Force in Hawaii celebrated throughout the entire month of April with a variety of Earth Day-related events to provide environmental and conservation awareness to the community.