MCAS Cherry Point News


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(From left to right) Bill Belli, Matt Wallin, Will R. Potter and Ruan Stewart, all employees of the air station’s Environmental Affairs Department, carry handfuls of trash for the Grants Landing beach cleanup in celebration of Earth Week, April 21. There were more than 20 volunteers present.

Photo by Pfc. Tyler J. Bolken

Cherry Point celebrates Earth Day

30 Apr 2010 | Pfc. Tyler J. Bolken

Cherry Point’s Environmental Affairs Department and several volunteers continued their Earth Week pledge by cleaning Grants Landing’s sandy beach, rain or shine, April 21.

The looming overcast cloud coverage made for a not so typical day at the beach.

As the clouds trickled rain, typifying Eastern Carolina’s five-minute weather pattern at its best, volunteers stepped down from the grass to the beach with a trash pick in one hand and an empty trash bag in the other.

No chained shackles or written judge orders were needed to clean this beach, fortunately, just some “green” spirited participants wanting to contribute to the Earth Week efforts.

The volunteers present consisted of EAD employees, civilians and Marines. This event was organized by Matt Wallin, a physical scientist with EAD.

“Its great to see people take time out of their day to be part of this event,” said Wallin.

Trash bags quickly filled up, even though the beach was 75 percent cleaner this year than last year, according to Stan C. Kegley, an environmental chemist with EAD.

Trash and treasure could be synonymous in a recycler’s eyes with the array of items that were picked up, ranging from a lengthy electrical wire to your typical aluminum can.

Glenn Hartzog, an environmental engineer with EAD, was surprised by the electrical wire find, considering how much copper there is in it.

Odds are the wire was there a long time because it was buried like tree roots, taking three guys to tug it out.

The cleanup stretched across the beach’s entire shoreline, and into the thick brush and trees along the perimeter.

After the cleanup, a once empty pickup bed was filled to the brim with trash weighing more than 500 pounds, said Wallin.

The trash cleared was symbolic of the beach’s frequent visitors, and how a little preventative maintenance goes a long way, said Kegley.

“I felt that this year was an overall success, and we gathered a lot of waste,” said Wallin.

For more information on how to be environmentally conscious at Cherry Point, visit the EAD Web site at
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point