Corps of Engineers, community team up to clean up waterlines

| April 16, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photo by
Joseph Bonfiglio
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District Public Affairs

HONOLULU — Volunteers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers partnered with the City and County of Honolulu and other concerned citizens to participate in Honolulu’s Earth Day Mauka to Makai Environmental Expo, Saturday. 

Punahou JROTC cadets clean up Fort DeRussy during the Earth Day Mauka to Makai Environmental Expo, Saturday, a Corps of Engineers and City and County of Honolulu event.About 15 volunteers from the Punahou High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program — including students from  Punahou, Damien, Sacred Hearts, Saint Francis and La Pietra High Schools; members of the North America Taiwanese Association Hawaii Chapter; and Corps of Engineers employees and family members joined forces to clean up the beach and berm area of the Corps’ Pacific Regional Visitor Center at Fort DeRussy and along the shoreline revetment at the Kakaako Waterfront Park.  

More than 60 community volunteers participated. 

“Our program has been doing this for several years now,” said Lt. Col. Robert Takao, commander, JROTC, Punahou H.S. “It’s a very worthwhile endeavor. Earth Day is about our future. It’s really our way of giving back to this great land and world that we live in. 

“It’s important for us to understand how fragile the ecosystems are and what our responsibility is, as inhabitants of this world, to do our part to sustain it for our future,”  Takao added.

“I feel good about it because we’re taking care of the earth and doing our part,” said Daylan DeMello, Punahou JROTC cadet. “We need to take care of the earth because one day it’ll give back to us.”  

In the same vein, Julie Rohrer, administrative assistant, Honolulu District Engineering Services Branch and president of the North America Taiwanese Association Hawaii Chapter, said, “It makes us feel good that we are useful, that we’re doing something and contributing our efforts to our community to keep our environment nice and clean.” 

The cleanup was part of Earth Day’s Mauka to Makai efforts to protect the Ala Wai Watershed and Oahu’s reefs. 

“We’re celebrating Earth Day with our volunteer groups to come out and clean, not only the beach berm behind the Regional Visitor Center, but also down over at Kakaako Park, picking up the litter and making people aware of some of the things and activities we can do to help save our planet,” said Steve Yamamoto, chief, Civil Works Technical Branch, 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,” Yamamoto said.  

In addition to the Fort DeRussy cleanup, the City and County of Honolulu Department of Environmental Services sponsored environmental events the same day, including an Earth Day Mauka to Makai Environmental Expo at the Waikiki Aquarium with organizations interested in keeping Honolulu green and clean. 

The expo showcased the efforts of city, state and federal agencies to preserve and protect Hawaii’s environment, with an emphasis on the islands’ unique water resources.  

The Honolulu District attended the expo to educate the community on the Ala Wai Watershed Project, which is a study searching for various solutions and a comprehensive watershed approach to reducing the risk of flooding and improving the water quality of the Ala Wai area.

Category: Community

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