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Govt agencies partner with Leone for cleanup

The wetlands of Leone are the second largest in the territory, and the residents of Leone initiated a clean up recently which has restored some of their beauty.

 The Leone Wetland Cleanup was carried out this past Wednesday and the effort was coordinated by the Department of Commerce in collaboration with the Department of Marine Wildlife Resources (DMWR) and the village leaders of the large western village. It was the second cleanup in Leone in as many weeks.

“Some of the partnering agencies who assisted in this effort were the American Samoa Power Authority, American Samoa Community College/Land Grant, Coral Reef Advisory Group (CRAG), the National Park, along with Village Mayor and a few members of the village aumaga. We also had volunteers such as Dr. Luciano and his team from UH Manoa and some students and community members,” said Solialofi Tuaumu of the Department of Commerce American Samoa Coastal Zone Management Program.

“We collected approximately 2,000 lbs of trash, in about 100 trash bags. The most trash collected was scrap metal,” said Tuaumu.

“The first village cleanup was held on Wednesday, May 16, which was also in Leone, where we picked up approximately 1,000 lbs of trash along the coast and mangroves, with a lot of housing appliances as well. Building materials, plastics, bottles, glass, and car batteries were also picked up that day. We hope that the village will take ownership and recognize the importance of preserving their prestigious wetland,” the DOC official said.

The cleanup in Leone was part of the village’s initiative to clean their village and their wetlands.

Alice Lawrence, also of DMWR noted, “We have been talking to village chiefs and the mayor and they are very keen for the village to get involved on a regular basis. We are doing this first effort... removing the big stuff, with the help of all of the agencies. The idea is that we are not going to come every week. We want the village to continue to keep their village clean. We are just helping them to get started in this effort.”