Monday, July 20, 2009

Military Divers Remove Tons of Trash From Hawaii Reefs

Combining efforts with the good folks of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Coast Guard and Army divers pulled loads of trash from reefs off the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

On a three-week mission to Maro Reef, Kure and Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, the U.S. Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Army 7th Engineer Dive Team pulled more than 32 metric tons of debris off coral reefs.

The debris, primarily fishing nets, was brought back to Honolulu yesterday and put on display this morning at the Coast Guard station on Sand Island.

"It was a great effort by all the people involved," said Coast Guard Cmdr. Jeffrey Randall, commanding officer of the Walnut.

Randall said NOAA mapped the sites to be cleared, Army divers bagged the trash and the 225-foot Walnut provided the heavy crane for lifting the debris and deck space for containers in which the debris was stored.

The trash unloaded today will be taken to Schnitzer Steel Corporation, which will shred the debris.

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