Island Images: Mud Operations
Birds fly waiting to forage in newly created open spaces formed as Marines drive their assault amphibious vehicles (AAVs) through the overgrown marshlands. The Marines participated in the 30th anniversary of Mud Operations on base. In the early 1980s, MCB Hawaii natural resources staff and Marines began using AAVs each spring - just before the nesting season for the endangered Hawaiian stilts - to help control pickle weed, a non-native invasive ground cover, which would otherwise crowd the birds out of their natural habitat in the ponds area. During the past 30 years, "Mud Ops" has created better foraging and ground nesting opportunities for the birds.