Sailors help plant 2,000 trees in Merizo

by Petty Officer 1st Class Timmy Wakefield
USS Emory S. Land (AS-39)

More than 2,000 trees were planted by Land, Cable, Commander Submarine Squadron 15, and Naval Base Guam Sailors, as well as Merizo community members, Simon Sanchez High School, George Washington High School, and Southern High School students. 

The trees were planted in an effort to reduce erosion, flooding, and to protect the site from variable climatic changes while promoting environmental partnerships between the Land and sister village Merizo.

Emory S. Land Commanding Officer Capt. Douglas Bradley said, “We care about our partnership with our sister village Merizo. Our combined effort, local and military volunteers, planted more than 2,000 trees for the Manell Watershed Restoration Project here.”

“Our partnership shows our commitment to the environment,” said Bradley. “Partnering with Merizo at this event promotes vegetation to keep moisture on the ground thus preventing wildfires like the one in 2015.”

Guam Department of Agriculture Cooperative Fire Program Manager Christine Fejeran said, “In 2015, wildfires swept across the watershed destroying 75 percent of trees planted. They continued working to prevent wildfires from destroying newly planted trees by building an encroachment around the watershed in 2016. This year’s efforts for planting the trees are an expansion of the watershed.”

The Manell Watershed was initially a 5-acre project that has expanded to more than 18 acres in an effort to reduce Guam’s carbon footprint, said Fejeran.

Merizo citizen volunteer Armi Lynn Lujan said, “I absolutely love when Sailors come out here and help because it shows us the Navy cares about the well-being of our home. It’s also a great experience just getting to know Sailors as people vice military members.”

“This partnership between the Emory S. Land and Merizo shows that we are dedicated to building a personal relationship between the Sailors and the locals.” said Bradley. “Planting 2,000 trees helps our environment and builds a strong, positive relationship.”

Guam is home to the U.S. Navy's only submarine tenders, Land and sister ship USS Frank Cable (AS 40), as well as four Los Angeles-class attack submarines. The submarine tenders provide maintenance, hotel services and logistical support to submarines and surface ships in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operation. The submarines and tenders are maintained as part of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed submarine force and are readily capable of meeting global operational requirements.

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Are you interested in taking orders to Guam? Want to learn more about the duty station and life on our island? For more information, check out the ‘Go Guam!’ website at and download the ‘1st Fifteen’ checklist.

Photo Caption:

MERIZO, Guam (Oct. 21, 2017) -- Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Megan Little and Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Ryan Tapao, a USS Frank Cable (AS 40) attached to the USS Emory S. Land (AS 39), and Hull Technicain Fireman help plant trees in Merizo during the Guam Manell Watershed Restoration Project in which more than 2,000 trees were planted to protect the watershed from wildfires. Emory S. Land, homeported in Guam, provides maintenance, hotel services and logistical support to submarines and surface ships in the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operations.

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