VIRGINIA BEACH -- More than 170 service members and civilians from Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana Dam Neck Annex and hundreds more from Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB) Little Creek-Fort Story participated in the 24th annual “Clean the Bay Day,” June 1 - 2.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation hosts “Clean the Bay Day” every year to clean debris from Virginia’s urban, suburban and rural shorelines and waterways. Each year, hundreds of service members answer the call to keep the beach clean.
“I’m doing this because I love the ocean and the beach,” said Quartermaster 2nd Class Matthew Beasley, assigned to Assault Craft Unit Two. “I thought this would be a great opportunity to help keep something beautiful that I love.”
At Dam Neck, the volunteers collected a total of 26 bags of trash, which weighed more than 500 pounds. The trash was mostly cigarette butts, wood and plastic containers.
“I think we had a successful event,” said Fire Controlman 1st Class Zach Winemiller, a program coordinator at NAS Oceana Dam Neck. “We have people coming out shoulder-to-shoulder covering more ground of the beach.”
The program not only attracted service members, but also their friends, relatives and family members as well.
Operations Specialist 1st Class Amal Lee, assigned to Center for Personal and Professional Development NAS Oceana Dam Neck Annex, took his daughter with him to help.
“I’ll take a lot of gratitude coming out here knowing that I helped the environment,” said Lee. “If I am not on a deployment, I will definitely come back next year.”
This program originated in 1989 and it has provided a cost-effective way to clean the shorelines so friends and families can enjoy clean beaches.
“It’s important because we have a lot of families coming out to the beach because it’s more secure,” said Engineman 2nd Class Enver Sibiliamartinez, assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Expeditionary Support Unit Two JEB Little Creek-Fort Story. “By doing this, the families can enjoy the beaches.”