NOAA Association of Commissioned Officers 

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September 21, 2021

PACIFIC ACO - COASTAL CLEANUP CHALLENGE! - ALL MONTH LONG

Hello Pacific ACO Members,


You can find more information about the event and cleanup sites in your area here. If you are unable to attend a designated coastal cleanup site you can still participate by cleaning up debris in your community any time this month! We encourage you to invite your family, friends and neighbors to join you to magnify your cleanup impact.


Please document your efforts with a photo, which we would like you to submit along with some basic info at this link: Google Form by the end of the month. And since this is a challenge, we'll share the photos on the Pacific ACO website and will name the winners for biggest haul, most unusual item collected, and the Pacific ACO Region with the best participation.


Please note, your safety and health are more important than this challenge. Assemble proper cleanup gear in advance. This gear should include a bucket or trash bag, gloves, face mask, a trash grabber or tongs (if available), and close-toed shoes to protect against sharp objects. ICC event leaders may have some supplies available for you to use such as trash bags and grabbers. Please avoid this activity if you feel sick or symptomatic in any way. Keep in mind your local restrictions, practice social distancing, avoid areas where you cannot avoid interaction with the public, be aware of exercise risks, and modify activities based on your experience and comfort level. If it's sunny, please remember water and sunscreen!


After your cleanup:

-  Dispose of trash in your home or local trash and recycle bins. ICC will have specific disposal instructions at their sites.

-  Wash or dispose of gloves immediately after your cleanup. To properly remove disposable gloves, grab the glove near the opening near your wrist and pull towards your fingers, then turn the glove inside out before disposing.

-  Wash your hands thoroughly as soon as possible, and use hand sanitizer in the meantime if soap and water are unavailable.


While our everyday commitment involves protecting the oceans, we hope you’re able to enjoy some fresh air, remove a lot of marine debris, and we look forward to seeing your photos!



- NOAA ACO, Pacific - VP Seattle

June 11, 2021

The virtual 5k has been ended! Thank you to everyone for participating

     

Together we helped raise $1,500!!

March 24, 2021

Welcome 2021 Pacific ACO Board


Recently elected members assumed their new roles and met virtually on Wednesday March 24 in our first official ACO meeting!


We discussed and planned future events. Last year's virtual 5k benefiting Feeding America was so successful we will be kicking off the second annual virtual 5k starting next month! We aim to raise even more money than last year ($2,212.89) as well as bring awareness for those in our community who struggle with food security.


We look forward to supporting you, and our community and are excited to see what 2021 will bring! (Hopefully some in person gatherings too)

March 1, 2021

The results are in! Please welcome your 2021 West Coast ACO board! Thank you to everyone who nominated and voted. These officers will be taking the mission of the ACO into 2021, so give them a hearty (virtual) greeting as you see them working their magic out in NOAA:

President: CDR Colin LIttle 
Vice President- Newport: LCDR Jesse Milton
Vice President- Seattle: LCDR Faith Knighton
Vice President- Honolulu: LT Kristin Sojka
Treasurer: LTJG Sony Vang
Secretary: ENS Eben Smith
Member at Large- Seattle: LTJG Hayley Betker
Member at Large- Newport: LTJG Jeff Calderon
Member at Large- Honolulu: ENS Nico Osborn
Member at Large- American Samoa: ENS Ryan Musick
Member at Large- California: LTJG Chelsea Parrish
Member at Large- USPHS: CDR Kelly Fath

January 2021

HAPPY NEW YEAR! With the changing of the calendar we are setting our sites on the 2021 elections for new ACO Board Members. If you are someone you know would like the opportunity to help make a difference with the Association, please contact michael.card@noaa.gov for more information. 

December 2020 News and Events

- Thanks to everyone who participated in our inaugural Secret Santa celebration! Participants were matched up with another participating officer to exchange gifts. From Hawaii to DC officers were able to spread some Holiday Cheer with some pretty impressive and thoughtfully researched tokens of appreciation for all the good work done this year. By all accounts, it was a well received event and will be repeated again next year; maybe with further participation from the AOC East!


- The 2020 Fall Beach Cleanup effort was a rousing success! Six participants, each going out in Covid-friendly individual groups, removed debris from our shorelines and beaches. They collected 6 receptacles of trash from local area beaches. At the end of the campaign, all the volunteers got together (virtually) and talked about all the different typed of trash they found (including a foam rocket!) as well as the wonderful experiences being out near the ocean we all love so much. Thank you all for your support and for making this campaign such a success.

October 2020 News and Events

- Congratulations to everyone who was selected for promotion! For anyone looking to either obtain, give away, or swap uniform parts, new insignia, etc; the NOAA Junior Advisory Counsel created a uniform swap Facebook page. Also, the NJAC also created this page for folks being promoted for the first time.


- We thought it would be fun to have a Fall Beach Cleanup effort among officers in the Pacific region The idea is to go to any beach in your area, and spend some time collecting trash (with appropriate PPE and appropriately distanced of course) . While working, take some pictures of your favorite trash, the scenery, or other interesting items, and share them. As you pickup trash, we invite you to use the Beach Cleanup Bingo Card to track your progress along the way. The event will kickoff on November 6th and end on December 11th with an online celebration off all those hard working beachcombers. Contact Kristin Sojka for more details!


- The Western Region PCS Sponsor Pilot Program is in full swing. If you are entering a billet that is stationed in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, or Hawaii you will be contacted by your regional representative to see if you are interested in participating in this new service. We will match you up with a sponsor in your new duty station to get help with all the nuances of relocation. Our Info page will have links to many of these materials, and as always we would love for these to be distributed to anyone that might benefit. I encourage you to respond if this sounds like something that can help you and your family out!


In light of the COVID precautions against in-person gatherings, the ACO is sponsoring a Secret Santa gift exchange across the entire Pacific ACO. The match-ups will be done at random, just ensuring that there are no reportee/reporter complications, from all volunteer requests received by November 14th. On the 16th, all participants will be given their secret match-up and gifts should be mailed no later than December 14th to ensure that they are there in time for Christmas (or whatever winter holiday you celebrate). There is a $20 gift limit (not including postage). It should be a fun way to spread cheer this year and to get to meet someone that you might not otherwise interact with! Head on over to the Website to just email LTJG Card with your info.

2020 Pacific ACO Board

President: CDR Olivia Hauser 
Vice President- Newport: CDR Colin Little
Vice President- Seattle: LT Aras Zygas 
Vice President- Hawaii: LTJG Laura Rock
Treasurer: LTJG Michelle Levano 
Secretary: LTJG Michael Card
Member at Large- Seattle: LCDR Brian Elliot
Member at Large- Newport: LCDR Justin Ellis
Member at Large-  Hawaii: LT Kristin Sojka 
Member at Large-  American Samoa: LTJG Brian Caldwell 
Member at Large-  California: LTJG Chelsea Parrish 
USPH: LCDR Gary Montgomery

Please do not hesitate to contact any of the above individuals with questions, comments, or suggestions. 

COVID-19 Response

In response to COVID-19, the Pacific ACO raised and deployed resources to Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization. 


The Seattle ACO chapter routinely volunteers with Food Lifeline, one of the many food distribution sights under Feeding America. Their food banks serve large areas in all 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. 





Thank you to everyone that donated to Pacific- ACO fund raising efforts! These donations provided over 22,000 meals to our communities.