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    NMCP Sailors Volunteer to Clean Oyster Pods at Hospital Point Pier

    NMCP Sailors Volunteer to Clean Oyster Pods at Hospital Point Pier

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Laura Myers | 180726-N-IY469-059 – Oysters can filter up to 50 gallons of water each day. They are...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Laura Myers 

    Naval Medical Center - Portsmouth

    Sailors assigned to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP) took time out of their morning to clean seven oyster pods attached to the Hospital Point pier, July 26.

    Cleaning the wire pods allows water to flow freely through them making it easier for the oysters to filter the water. Adult oysters can filter about 50 gallons of polluted water each day, and each of the seven pods holds approximately 100 oysters.

    “We always want to do the right thing and set the standard here,” said Lanette Donegan, NMCP Environmental Program Manager. “We’re always looking for new ways to prevent pollution.”
    Donegan added there are many people, bases and businesses that rely on the Elizabeth River to operate daily. “It’s extremely important that we maintain the pods we have.”

    Sailors pulled the pods from the water and scrubbed off dirt, mud and other debris that covered the pods and the oysters. Although the occasion provided dirty work for the Sailors, it was a great opportunity to contribute their time.

    “We always like to make volunteering fun,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Willie Mercado, leading petty officer of the multi-service ward for the Directorate of Nursing Services. “I like to joke around, so it’s not so much work.”

    While Sailors were busy scrubbing the pods with wire brushes, the old, mature oysters were traded for baby oysters contributed by the Elizabeth River Project. Once the pods were ready to go, the baby oysters were placed in the pods. The pods were then secured with zip-ties and lowered back down into the water from the pier.

    “It felt great helping to clean the river,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Andora Remsing, Pediatrics Department assistant leading petty officer. “It takes little effort to help the environment, but it makes a big difference,” said Remsing. “I would definitely do this again.”

    Local non-profit organizations in Hampton Roads, such as The Elizabeth River Project and Chesapeake Bay Foundation, have worked endlessly to reduce the amount of pollution in Hampton Roads by using oysters that naturally filter debris from the water. Military bases in Hampton Roads work with these organizations placing the pods along the bases’ piers.

    Even though Hospital Point pier originally belonged to Portsmouth Naval Hospital, now NMCP, it is part of Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads – Portsmouth Annex. Even so, Donegan said the project wouldn’t be successful without the help of NMCP Sailors.

    “I’m very proud of what they did today,” Donegan said. “They asked questions about the process and were receptive in what I had to share. I feel they enjoyed it.”

    NMCP is taking further steps later this year to enhance the local environment by repairing the existing butterfly garden and planting additional trees.
    As the U. S. Navy's oldest, continuously-operating hospital since 1830, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth proudly serves past and present military members and their families. The nationally acclaimed, state-of-the-art medical center, including its nine branch clinics located throughout the Hampton Roads area, additionally offers premier research and teaching programs designed to prepare new doctors, nurses and hospital corpsmen for future roles in healing and wellness.



    Date Taken: 07.26.2018
    Date Posted: 07.27.2018 09:00
    Story ID: 285975
    Location: PORTSMOUTH, VA, US 

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