CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - In celebration of Earth Day 2012, volunteers aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune hopped into canoes, floated down the New River and collected trash along the way, doing their best to clean up the shorelines along the base during the Splash for Trash event, April 20.
Approximately 90 patrons met at different areas including Courthouse Bay, French Creek, the Wounded Warrior Battalion and Camp Johnson to do their part along with Environmental Management Division, New River Water Way Stewards, White Oak River Keeper Alliance and New River Foundation personnel in protecting local waterways.
“Our mission is to collect the debris and dispose of the waste properly,” said Alicia Filzen, the environmental management system program manager.
While some volunteers made their way down the river banks collecting trash ranging from tires and car bumpers to beer cans and cigarette butts, others boarded larger boats and barges to collect trash from those in canoes and dispose of it properly.
“The goal for today is to make the river as clean as possible in our area of responsibility on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and to have fun while we’re doing it,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Oscar Williams, the installation and facilities operations chief for MCB Camp Lejeune.
Marines, sailors and base patrons did just that during the event. Volunteers enjoyed every minute of the time they dedicated to the cause as they overloaded their boats with fun trinkets found along the beach and inexperienced canoers tipped over in excitement of finding souvenirs.
Splash for Trash was the culminating event for the recognition given to Earth Day during the week of April 16 through 20.
Throughout the week, more than 250 volunteers helped with multiple clean up efforts to include the Midway Park and Lyman Road clean sweeps, an Earth Day exposition and an electronics and household hazardous material turn-in.
For more information on environmental safety or ways to volunteer, contact Filzen at 451-7732.