SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Earth Day Marked Ninth Year for USCG's Community Clean Up


May 03, 2013
Friday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Marking its ninth year of volunteer service, about 30 Coast Guard personnel, family members, and friends spent most of Earth Day cleaning up areas of Ketchikan and the Borough. 

One group started working on the Carlanna Lake trail parking lot, filling the dumpster there with a refrigerator, mattress, flooring, a couch, a car seat, building material, trash and other material Ketchikan residents had been dumping there for the last year or so.

jpg Earth Day Marks Ninth Years for USCG's Community Clean UP

Coast Guard personnel cleaning up the Carlanna Lake trailhead parking area
Photo courtesy Jerry Cegelske

Other team members went to North Tongass and picked up trash dumped at pull outs, Borough property, and other locations.  After collecting a truckload of material from an area by Salmon Falls, a member was asked how they found the dump site which was unobserved for years.  Their reply was that they just looked where they thought people would dump stuff.

Revilla Road was another place the Coast Guard cleaned Borough property along with the State Right-of-way and pull outs.  One area revealed a large quantity of children’s toys, a flat screen TV and three bags of trash.  Another area gave up a 30 inch television, truck tire chains, auto parts, scrap metal and other material.

jpg Cleaning up a Borough rockpit

Cleaning up a Borough rockpit
Photo courtesy Jerry Cegelske

This is the ninth year that U.S. Coast Guard personnel have participated in cleaning up areas of the Borough.  Trash Tour 2005 “I Came, I Saw, I Cleaned It Up”, took place on Revilla Road which removed junk vehicles, bikes, fuel tanks, appliances and other trash.  Chief Aaron Anderson of the Electronics Shop worked well after most other participants had quit cleaning up the trash along Revilla Road.  In April of the following years until his transfer to Kodiak, he and people in the Electronics shop cleaned areas of Ketchikan, each year collecting more trash than the year before.  All areas of the Borough have benefitted from their efforts, although most people would not be aware of the hard work they have done and the vast amount of trash they removed, which has now passed over 52,000 pounds.

This year Base Ketchikan Commander Wade Gesele provided a seven ton truck to haul trash, which was filled up twice.  Commander Gesele also provided lunch at Ward Lake for the participants.  Chief Rodda and MST3 Julie Thomas helped plan the Earth Day Clean-up.  Rodda’s knowledge of prior cleanup efforts came in handy as he directed the morning meeting at the airport parking lot prior to everyone dispersing.

jpg Coast Guard members unloading the 7 ton truck at the landfill

Coast Guard members unloading the 7 ton truck at the landfill
Photo courtesy Jerry Cegelske

In all, six personal trucks and the seven ton truck were involved in the cleanup effort, taking trash from the cleanup locations to the landfill where Solid Waste Supervisor Lenny Neeley observed the results of their efforts.  This year 12,930 pounds of trash passed over the landfill’s scales in the Coast Guard cleanup effort.

Ketchikan Borough Code Enforcement Officer Jerry Cegelske said, "I don’t know how many times something must be done to become a tradition, but I think nine years in participating in cleaning up Ketchikan makes for a great Coast Guard tradition for the residents of Ketchikan."

"Thanks to CWO 4 Michael Wills for giving Chief Rodda time to plan the cleanup and to Lt. Thao Nguyen for giving MST3 Julie Thomas time to work with Chief Rodda on the clean-up planning," said Cegelske.

Cegelske said, " It has been a privilege and an honor to work with all the members of the Coast Guard over the last nine years and I wish Chief Rodda the best with his upcoming transfer which will reunite him with his family."


Photo Gallery


Carlanna Lake trailhead trash
Photo courtesy Jerry Cegelske


Material collected from the Carlanna Lake trailhead parking area
Photo courtesy Jerry Cegelske


Revilla Road Right-of-way
Photo courtesy Jerry Cegelske


Trash collected by Salmon Falls
Photo courtesy Jerry Cegelske


Additional N. Tongass trash collected by the U.S. Coast Guard
Photo courtesy Jerry Cegelske


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Stories In The News
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