Marines fight man-made erosion on south Florida beaches
By Sgt. Scott Schmidt
| 6th Marine Corps District | April 29, 2013
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. --
The beaches in Palm Beach County Fla., will soon be cleaner thanks to local Marine recruiters and their future Marine recruits.
Beginning this May, Marines with Recruiting Substations West Palm Beach and Delray Beach will be a prominent sight as they clear and clean area beaches of trash and debris washed ashore by tides or left behind by beach goers.
Marines are using the clean-ups as a way to teach young men and women who are currently waiting to go to boot camp that Marines always give back to their communities. While recruiters are charged with seeking out those highly qualified men and women to be Marines, their job is also to prepare them for a life as a Marine.
For Marine recruiters “returning quality citizens,” isn’t just a slogan used to venerate the Corps’ role in the world, it’s a way of life.
“Volunteering is just as much of the Marine Corps as winning battles,” says Marine recruiter Staff Sgt. Leo Parry from West Palm Beach.
Palm Beach County has 45 miles of shoreline prone to natural destructive elements like wind and tides, so controlling man-made erosion like beer bottles is a priority for Marines who live and work in the area.
Parry said volunteering can be a strong element in mentoring the young men and women waiting to go to boot camp. Getting future Marines out into the community will give them a sense of purpose and service that will be sharpened during their time as a Marine he said.
County officials site plastic bottles and left behind fish netting as the main agitator affecting the ecology of Florida beaches. Suzanne McAuliffe, a Parks Support Services Manager, said Marines’ efforts “are always appreciated and will help keep beaches beautiful and debris free for (residents) to enjoy.”
Marines are scheduled to conduct clean ups once every three month or as requested by the parks and recreation service after large storms that may bring ashore hazardous material.