Earth Day: Local Actions Have Global Reach

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By Rear Adm. Frank Ponds 
Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific

This year’s Navy Earth Day theme, “Global Reach, Local Action,” fits perfectly here in Hawaii. Consider our home in the islands, one of the most beautiful, natural places on our planet – clean air, aqua-blue Pacific Ocean, and green mountains and valleys, filled with life.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for the last time from its homeport in Hawaii, Jan. 3, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dustin W. Sisco/Released)

The guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for the last time from its homeport in Hawaii, Jan. 3, 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dustin W. Sisco/Released)

Every day is a reminder to protect the beauty around us.

Whether at sea or pierside, our Sailors are taking conservation and recycling seriously. At installations ashore, our service members, civilians and families are learning and living the meaning of “malama ka `aina” – “respecting the land.” We are making a difference for this interconnected world around us.

The sea services have great respect for the marine environment. We have a special relationship with the oceans. We see the power, moods and mystery of the seas as we operate forward and stand watch in defense of freedom. We protect marine mammals and ocean resources.

Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 2nd Class Devon Brandenburg and student volunteers collect trash along a beach at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. More than 40 Sailors and volunteers teamed up with 16 students and faculty of Ke Kula Ni`ihau O Kekaha School to collect trash along the shore at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The beach cleanup effort was in observance of International Coastal Cleanup Day sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh/Released)

Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 2nd Class Devon Brandenburg and student volunteers collect trash along a beach at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. More than 40 Sailors and volunteers teamed up with 16 students and faculty of Ke Kula Ni`ihau O Kekaha School to collect trash along the shore at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The beach cleanup effort was in observance of International Coastal Cleanup Day sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh/Released)

I am proud of the Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Soldiers, Coast Guardsmen, civilians and family members in our region who work together in beach cleanups, environmental education programs and Earth Day events in our community.

We take action with our partners to conserve energy, protect endangered species, use renewable resources, recycle whenever possible and demonstrate our commitment to a cleaner environment – earth, air and sea.

On this Earth Day, officially proclaimed as April 22, we may be constrained in financial resources, but our commitment for volunteer action is unwavering. If every person does his or her part for the environment, imagine the difference we can make together!

This year, we are proud to be partnering with the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii State Civil Defense, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Coast Guard and University of Hawaii at Manoa friends for the Earth Day event at the Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange.

To our region and Middle Pacific team: No matter where you serve, no matter how you contribute, thank you for doing your part to protect, preserve and promote the environment. Your action locally on Earth Day and every day can have a global reach! Malama ka `aina.

Navy 2013 Earth Day events

2013 Navy Earth Day events. This size of the font represents the number of events held at that location.

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Earth Day: Local Actions Have Global Reach