Seven Sailors from the Los Angeles-class attack submarines USS Pasadena (SSN 752) and USS Miami (SSN 755) conducted a joint community relations project with a local marine conservation organization around the Isles of Shoal, Sept. 15.
The Isles of Shoals consists of nine rocky islands six miles off the New Hampshire and Maine coast.
The Sailors used their diving skills in assisting non-profit Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation in the New Hampshire Coastal Cleanup, held in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup.
“I think it is always good to do things for the community,” said Lt. David Beam, the navigator aboard Pasadena and a certified Navy diver since 1998. “Any time I have an opportunity to use the skills I have acquired in the military for a greater purpose in the community means a great deal to me.”
In addition to the Sailors from USS Pasadena and USS Miami, the diving organization, United Divers, based in New Hampshire, also assisted with the clean-up efforts, according to Jennifer Kennedy, who co-founded the Blue Oceans Society with Dianna Schulte in 2002.
“I think whenever events like this come up the more people who are involved to improve the situation, you create more awareness,” said Beam.
Blue Oceans Society, based in Portsmouth, N.H., has a conservation mission of protecting marine life in the Gulf of Maine. Kennedy said the assistance provided by the Sailors and other divers doubled their conservation efforts in cleaning the harbor.
“It’s great that they can all use their diving skills to assist us,” said Kennedy. “Additionally, it is a great partnership between the Navy and community which has enabled us to get twice the amount of work accomplished.”
During their clean-up efforts the Sailors and other volunteers picked up debris from the harbor’s basin using mesh diving bags. The volunteers picked up approximately 60 pounds of debris consisting of bottles, cans, and various plastic materials.
The efforts by the Portsmouth-assigned Sailors and United Divers are part of a larger clean-up effort the Blue Ocean Society has coordinated said Kennedy. This year alone, in addition to regular monthly cleanups along the New Hampshire coastline, they have completed clean-up efforts on four of the nine islands that make-up of the Isle of Shoals picking up more than 4,000 pounds of debris.
“The islands have essentially been used since the 1600s, and through the centuries have remained a popular place for boats, recreational and commercial fishermen,” said Kennedy.
In addition to underwater clean-up of the harbor, nearly a dozen other Sailors assigned to USS Pasadena and USS Miami picked up 50 pounds of litter on Peirce Island in Portsmouth, Aug. 13.
Naval Today Staff, September 18, 2012