By Joseph Bonfiglio
Honolulu District Chief of Public Affairs
HONOLULU, HAWAII - Volunteers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers partnered with the Waikiki Improvement Association, the Hale Koa Hotel, and other concerned citizens to clean up Waikiki Beach as part of Earth Day 2013 on April 27.
Approximately 20 volunteers from the Punahou Junior ROTC program (which includes cadets from other area high schools and some home-schooled students) joined Corps’ employees and their friends and families to clean up the beach and berm area at the Corps’ Pacific Regional Visitor Center (RVC) at Fort DeRussy in Waikiki. They also planted decorative plants donated by the Hale Koa Hotel in front of the Army Museum and the RVC. Altogether about 50 volunteers participated.
“I like helping out the environment,” said Punahou JROTC Cadet Battalion Commander Stephanie Ramos, who plans on studying environmental engineering in college.
“I thank all our Cadets who volunteered their time to be here this morning. I’m a senior and I’ve been doing this every year for the last four years and I find it very worthwhile. It’s amazing how messy people can be. I hope this encourages them to clean up and take better care of the 'aina.” Ramos said.
Ramos encourages people to recycle and be more careful with trash since much of it ends up in the ocean and affects sea birds.
“We’re celebrating Earth Day with our volunteer groups to come out and clean up the beach berm behind the Regional Visitor Center, picking up the litter, and making people aware of some of the things and activities we can do to help our planet,” said Mike Wong, chief of the Civil Works Technical Branch at the Honolulu District.
“I always feel good when we can convey some of the messages about saving our planet and keeping it clean to the younger kids,” Wong said.
“Our Park Rangers Angela Jones and Don Espaniola did a super job in organizing and coordinating this event.”
Earth Day in Honolulu increases 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.
For more information about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, visit the Honolulu District website: http://www.poh.usace.army.mil or call 438-2815 for information about the Pacific Regional Visitor Center.
The Corps’ RVC 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 that affect the lives of all the residents of Hawaii and the people of the Pacific.
The RVC is located on the second floor of historic Battery Randolph at Fort DeRussy, Waikiki. Battery Randolph is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and is one of 16 coastal fortifications built by the Corps between 1906 and 1917 for the protection of Honolulu and Pearl harbors.