TAMUNING, Guam (NNS) -- Navy and Air Force personnel and their families participated in the 16th International Coastal Cleanup on Guam Sept. 25.
Organized by the nonprofit, Ocean Conservancy, headquartered in Washington, D.C., the International Coastal Cleanup is a worldwide effort in its 25th year. Annually, more than half a million people in 100 countries remove millions of pounds of trash from beaches and waterways all over the world and collect data on what they find.
Tom Quinata, the local International Coastal Cleanup coordinator, said that military representatives were at all 17 sites on Guam.
Sailors from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 Detachment Guam cleaned two sites along the Oka Point cliffline in Tamuning, Guam, according to Equipment Operator 2nd Class (SCW) Asia Rogina, who organized the unit's participation.
"We pulled a lot of trash out, including a few mattresses that had been thrown over the cliff," Rogina said. "The guys were pretty excited about gathering as much trash as we did, and they were proud that NMCB 11 helped out with such a good cause."
The effort was in keeping with the nature of NMCB 11, said Master Chief Constructionman (SCW) Alan Charpentier, the senior enlisted advisor for NMCB 11 Det. Guam.
"Whenever we have a chance to help out the local community, we don't think twice," he said. "I'm especially proud of Petty Officer Rogina for putting it together. She is a real leader among her peers."
Submarine Squadron 15 Sailors also helped to clean up the Oka Point site.
"All the stuff that's here eventually ends up in the ocean and that's something we've got to protect," said Master Chief Machinist's Mate (SS) Ted Whitmer, of Submarine Squadron 15. "If we get it now before it ends up in the water, we're better off."
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5 Sailors gathered about 300 pounds of debris off the ocean bottom as they dove off the command's boat near the entrance to Apra Harbor.
"We combined training with the cleanup," said Operations Specialist 1st Class (EXW/SW) David Wilson. "They did a training dive, while they were down there picking up trash."
About 100 students from Guam High School (GHS), including Sea Cadets and members of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), cleaned at the War in the Pacific National Historical Park, Asan Beach Unit.
Air Force personnel combed the coastline at Tarague Beach on Andersen Air Fore Base (AFB). This year's event marks the first time the beaches on Andersen AFB were included in the cleanup. Team Andersen members were enthusiastic about the effort.
"I like volunteering because you meet a lot of new people and learn a lot about the island," said Abriham Amaison Jr., a civilian employee and volunteer at Tarague Beach. "The island is beautiful and there is a lot you need to know so you don't destroy its beauty."
One motto used among Team Andersen members regularly is, "To leave the place better than you found it." The motto reflects the action displayed through the cleanup effort.
"It's really about getting the community here more involved and familiar with the cultural resources and wildlife," said Leanne Obra, 36th Civil Engineer Environmental Wildlife Biologist. "If they see the impact trash can have on the ecosystem, they'll be more willing to help preserve it."
After the event, comprehensive data on the quantity and types of trash were tabulated and compiled as part of the Ocean Conservancy's annual report.
For more information on the International Coastal Cleanup, visit http://www.oceanconservancy.org.
For more news from U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas, visit www.navy.mil/local/guam/.