599th Trans. Bde. cleans up Laniakea Beach’s shoreline, road

| May 19, 2011 | 2 Comments
Sgt. 1st Class Emilio Calzada (left), transportation management coordinator, 599th Trans. Bde., briefs participants before a cleaning up of Laniakea Beach, on Oahu’s North Shore, May 13.

Sgt. 1st Class Emilio Calzada (left), transportation management coordinator, 599th Trans. Bde., briefs participants before a cleaning up of Laniakea Beach, on Oahu’s North Shore, May 13.

Story and Photos by
Donna Klapakis
599th Transportation Brigade

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Friday the 13th was a day on the beach for members of the 599th Transportation Brigade.

Service members and civilians spent the day cleaning Laniakea Beach on Oahu’s North Shore.

The 12 volunteers gathered at 9 a.m., before combing over the entire beach and roadside alongside it, picking up everything from clothing to cigarette butts.

Air Force Lt. Col. Todd Toman, deputy commanding officer, 599th Trans. Bde., emerges from the water after diving for debris at Laniakea Beach, during the unit’s beach cleanup, May 13.

Air Force Lt. Col. Todd Toman, deputy commanding officer, 599th Trans. Bde., emerges from the water after diving for debris at Laniakea Beach, during the unit’s beach cleanup, May 13.

“Cleaning the beach was a great thing for us to do,” said Staff Sgt. Keith Mobley, plans noncommissioned officer, 599th Trans. Bde. “Most of the beach wasn’t too bad, except for the smokers. There were a lot of cigarette butts. All in all, everything went real smooth for us.”

Participation in “Malama na Honu,” or the turtle guardians, is an ongoing community relations activity for the 599th Trans. Bde., and the beach cleanup project dovetailed to complement that effort.

While most of the participants policed the shoreline and curbside, two volunteers donned scuba gear to clean out the ocean.

Plastic bags and other debris in the ocean are dangerous to most underwater life, especially for turtles who come ashore to bask in the sun.

“The greatest threat by man to our honu (turtles) is the accidental entanglement by fishing lines, hooks and nets,” said Joanne Pettigrew, educational outreach and volunteer coordinator for Malama na Honu. “Mahalo nui loa (many thanks) to the 599th  Trans. Bde. for cleaning the beach and reef for our honu, and keeping it free of these dangerous items.”

Matson Navigation Company’s Container for the Land Project sponsored the cleanup for the unit.

It also provided a shipping container to place the trash and hauled it away from the beach after the event.

“We’re celebrating our 10th year of Container for the Land,” said Keahi Birch, manager, Environmental Affairs-Hawaii, Matson Navigation Company. “We’ve sponsored more than 600 cleanups since the start of the program. It’s beneficial for both Matson and the nonprofits we sponsor.”

Sgt. 1st Class Emilio Calzada, transportation management coordinator in the brigade’s operations directorate, arranged for the cleanup and coordinated with Matson.

“After I heard about the project and we’d chosen the beach, I put in an application with Matson,” he said. “It was approved in November. After approval, they gave us one year to get it done.

“At first, the earliest possible date was August, but then we were able to fit it in during May,” he said.

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Category: Army Community Covenant, Community

Comments (2)

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  1. Bill Alvin says:

    Hi!

    My name is Bill Alvin and I’m from the Marshall Islands. Marshall Islands is only four hours from Hawaii on airplane. I just wanted to say hello to my fellow friend Col.Todd Toman who if that really is Todd. I met Todd on my way to Wisconsin on the airplae. I gave him a marshallese necklace I beleive and he gave me back something like a really precious army metal and a card. I’ve been looking all over for him on facebook to ad as my friend but I coudnt find him because there’s so many Todd on facebook. Its hard for me to choose which Todd because I also don’t remember his face, so I thought maybe google will help me find Todd. I never see Todd from that day on the airplane till I came back home to the Marshall Islands….please tell Todd bill said hi and he is very welcome
    e to visit marshall islands anytime he wanted to. I will help him with anything a place to live and more.

    • Lt Col Todd Toman says:

      Bill Alvin, Good to hear from you. I do remember you and look forward to reuniting somehow. I did look you up on FB but was not successful. Please try to locate me on FB…I live in Prattville, Alabama now.
      Todd Toman

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