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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The northern shoreline of the St. Johns River is a lovely spot, with oak trees dripping Spanish moss at the waterline. Except, that is, for the trash that regularly washes ashore – especially after big weather events.
Volunteers from Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Jacksonville and Naval Station Mayport collected enough debris to fill 81 garbage bags during a Dec. 8 cleanup event at the command’s Southeast Regional Fuels Depot. The haul included a surprising variety of trash: 50 yards of rope, car tires, buckets, soda cans, bottles and even a ship mooring buoy that stood waist-high to the officer who rolled it to the collection point.
Hurricane Ian in September and Tropical Storm Nicole in November exacerbated the usual trash accumulation at the property thanks to as much as 3- to 4-foot storm surge in the area. The depot is located just east of the Jacksonville Zoo on the riverfront, in an industrial area.
“These are buffer security areas for the fuel depot. Not a lot of people transit these areas, but since we’re right next to the river, storm surge and flooding can still leave behind debris,” said Heather Hahn, natural and cultural resources manager for Naval Station Mayport.
“It’s always good to pick up your trash every once in a while,” she said.
Lt. Cmdr. Tyson Biddle, Southeast regional fuels officer, said he appreciated the help from the 18 participants, who worked all morning in the tall grass along the shoreline.
“In the wake of the hurricane and Tropical Storm Nicole, Defense Fuel Support Point Jacksonville was in need of some TLC,” he said.
The fuel depot is a little-seen but important piece of the sprawling NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville command. Though it sits on Navy land, the depot is across the river from the nearby naval station.
The site and its fuels officers and Sailors oversee 17 individual defense fuel operations from Texas to Cuba, including the Navy's largest deepwater fuel terminal in the southeastern United States, here on the St. Johns River.
These operations provide fuel to Navy aircraft and other vehicles across the Southeast.
NAVSUP FLC Jacksonville is one of eight Fleet Logistics Centers under Naval Supply Systems Command. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, NAVSUP employs a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel.
Jeanette Steele, 619 787 5429
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