By MC1 (SW) Cliff Williams, NMCB 133 Public Affairs
SWCN Laura Perez (left) and SWCN Monica Ramirez, NMCB 133, plant a tree during Restore America’s Estuaries Week at Henderson Point, Pass Christian, Miss. (Photo by MC1 (SW) Cliff Williams/150920-N-EW956-006)
Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 volunteered their support during Restore America’s Estuaries Week at Henderson Point, Pass Christian, Miss. Twelve Seabees came out to show off their green thumbs and plant almost 600 trees over seven acres.
“We are planting maples, live oaks and cypress trees,” said Judy Steckler, executive director, Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain. Steckler says trees are an important part of the coast’s ecosystem, and restoring what Katrina destroyed years ago is still very relevant.
“The trees will help in the filtration of the water going into the estuaries,” she added. “It will bring birds back to the neighborhood because they’ll have food and safe shelter. So it’s really going to improve this area.”
That’s why volunteers such as Electronics Technician 2nd Class Tia White, NMCB 133, say they’re happy to help.
“The fact that we’re planting trees and making things more beautiful is what makes me feel good about what we are doing,” White said.
Seabees were not the only volunteers during the two-day event. The children of military personnel assisted in the day of service.
“It’s kind of different to do something like this because it’s something that’s going to carry on and move up with the different generations,” said Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Gary Shulmire, who brought his son and daughter to teach them a lesson on giving back. “It just gives them an opportunity to learn. I [volunteered] when I was growing up back in Texas. We had the opportunity to do a lot of service projects through church and school, so I thought it would be good to help them learn and understand what it is to be in a community and help out.”
Restore America’s Estuaries is a national alliance of 11 coastal conservation groups that stretch from Maine to Washington State. Local projects restore coastal wetlands, improve water quality, open fish passages, build living shorelines, re-plant salt marshes and restore shellfish habitat. They provide a united voice for coastal conservation in the nation’s capital and advance the science and practice of protecting and restoring estuaries through on-the-ground projects, ground-breaking science, high-level meetings and the power of convening people.
NMCB 133 Seabees including (from left to right) SWCN Laura Perez, BUCN Rosauna Aragon, ET2 Tia White and SWCN Monica Ramirez work together to plant trees to support Restore America’s Estuaries Week at Henderson Point, Pass Christian, Miss. (Photo by MC1 (SW) Cliff Williams/150920-N-EW956-009)
CE1 Aaron Hutnick and UT2 Dylan Reboulet, NMCB 133, use an auger to drill holes in the ground for trees to be planted for Restore America’s Estuaries Week at Henderson Point, Pass Christian, Miss. (Photo by MC1 (SW) Cliff Williams/150920-N-EW956-015)