SAND CITY, Calif. - Service members donned rubber gloves, grabbed trash bags, and picked Monterey State Beach clean, Feb.1.
The monthly clean-up was a combined effort between the Navy's Junior Enlisted Association and the Presidio of Monterey's Better Opportunities for Single Service Members program. More than thirty troops from all services participated in what was originally an older Navy community service effort.
"This is one of the beaches many DLI students come out to for recreation," said Seaman Anya Cross, JEA treasurer and BOSS vice president during Saturday's clean-up near Sand City. "So we decided to come out and clean up after ourselves."
Cross said the monthly beach clean-ups began early last year, but as her fellow Sailors transitioned out of DLI, the program quickly fell by the wayside. Recently, however, she said the Navy found new student leadership and also decided to join forces with the BOSS program to aid the clean-up, a partnership she hopes endures.
"We will partner with BOSS from now on, so we can reach all the services," she said. "It's not just for us. We want everyone to be able to participate."
As the troops spent two hours combing the cliff-like sand dunes and filled their bags with trash, Army Pfc. James Derosa had the find of the day.
"I found a huge metal pipe that I was able to get to a dumpster," Derosa laughed.
Derosa who studied environmental science prior to DLI took the clean-up as an opportunity to give back and immerse himself in DLI culture. "Conservation and environmental stewardship is important to me," he said. "I thought it was an excellent opportunity to do something meaningful but also meet new people."
Cross echoed Derosa's sentiment about the beach clean-up. "You get to enjoy the beautiful ocean and give back," she said.
For more information on the monthly beach clean-up contact BOSS at: 831-242-5447.