Welcome to the website for my master’s project “Holistic In Situ Interpretation of Seabee Junkyard”! This site will be used as a tool to hold products resulting from the project, a masters project conducted through the University of Guam Environmental Science Program with work being conducted at the UOG Marine Lab. My project mission is to holistically interpret the site by investigating both the cultural history and the natural environment of the site using non-disturbance methods while providing education about my findings to local stakeholders and academics in the field internationally.
The Seabee Junkyard lies against the end of the Glass Breakwater in Apra Harbor, Guam. At the site there is a large amount of World War II material including four dozers, an Amtrac, GMC truck beds, Pontoon Outboard Motors, large piping, 50-gallon drums and much more! The U.S. Navy began building the breakwater in 1941 to protect the harbor from weather but also military advances. Their work was halted when the Japanese bombed Guam and occupied it on December 8, 1941.
The Seabees building the breakwater, the base of this crane appears identical to the boat mooring at the site today. Photo from James Oelke Farley, National Park Service
Work was immediately resumed by the Seabees (Navy Construction Battalions) when the U.S. stormed the beach at Asan on July 21, 1944, celebrated today as Guam’s Liberation Day. The rest of the breakwater was built between 1944 and mid 1947. The creation of the Seabee Junkyard is likely to have occurred at the end of this time period. Pictures of pieces found at the site today can be found in use building the breakwater. The Seabees have been credited with helping rebuild Guam, and working under fire as well as creating their own tools and engineering the breakwater with little to no prior planning. While site represents the work of the Seabees it also reflects the desire of the sailors to return home quickly in the aftermath of the war. It is one of many dump-sites on Guam.
There have been an increasing number of studies on the natural environment of submerged cultural material, some of which also study the state of the cultural material. This is a first of its kind study on Guam.
A quadrat at the site, used to study the benthic environment. Benthic features may include live hard coral, algae, or sponges!
Products from this project will include:
- Underwater Dive Guide
- Informational Pamphlet: Interpreting the natural and cultural attributes of Seabee Junkyard, Guam
- Preservation Report: Historical Interpretation, Natural Environment Interpretation, Outreach Tools
- Video presentation clips
- Site survey and photographic documentation of the site in the past and present
Anyone is welcome to follow my progress on this site and let me know if you have any feedback, historical or environmental expertise in this area, or would like me to update you when products related to the project are finalized.
To get in touch, please email me at: KalleErin@gmail.com