Lanai TSA officers give back to community, launch beach cleanup effort

Thursday, September 10, 2020
Clean up picture

For the last six months, COVID-19 turned our world upside down, but TSA officers at Hawaii’s Lanai Airport (LNY) rose above the pandemic to come together as a team to help the local environment.

Supervisory TSA Officer Lemual Schutt felt it was time to accomplish something wonderful for the Lanai community, and that’s exactly what he and his team are doing.

On August 19, they gave up their Saturday but gave back to their community by cleaning up Wai’opae Beach. They spent the day picking up plastic bottles, bags, containers, fishing nets, lines, ropes, a broken beach chair, flip flops, just to name a few items.

Schutt came up with the idea for the cleanup project, and several of his coworkers were quickly ready to help.  

Beach clean up picture

By the end of the day, they filled 15 large trash bags and properly disposed of them in designated dumpsters. It looks like this is just the start of several beach cleanup projects for TSA LNY.

“We chose Wai’opae Beach as a starting point for our ongoing beach cleaning project because of its history for the Lana’ians, how it provided so many resources for the locals,” said Supervisory Officer Steven Kurniawan. “This beach was a fishing pond back in the day until the weather (storms, hurricanes, etc.) destroyed it.”

Kurniawan said in the last year, Lana’ians started restoring the pond by rebuilding the wall of rocks along the coastline.

“We thought it would help everyone to see the beach clean,” he said. “It will also benefit the sea creatures during high tide. Trash won’t pollute the ocean.”

TSA Officers Rogelio Antonio, Joan DeLaCruz and Kayla Sanches joined Kurniawan and Schutt in the cleanup, although Kurniawan said officers who couldn’t make it for the Wai’opae Beach cleanup are excited to participate in future team activities.

Kurniawan said, “We plan to continue this project as a team … one beach at a time.”