Dive Site Cleanup Challenge #CleanDiveChallenge

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Ranelle’s addiction to SCUBA started in 2004. From a young age she has been fascinated by the ocean and the creatures living within it. Her Ultimate dive dream is to swim with Orcas and to dive the world. Ranelle is a certified PADI Specialty Instructor and spent 3 years in university studying Science and Biology.

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Share Away!

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The underwater world is a unique place full of color and life. It is vibrant and moving and always changing. Except that, where you would expect to see that life and beauty grow, lately, it has been diminishing. If it was a small regression you could chalk it up to being the normal pull and sway of nature. However, that isn’t the case. This decline has been an ongoing phenomenon for over 50 years. As a diver, you should feel a desire to help, or at least I hope that you do. Which is why I propose a challenge. I challenge you to a dive site cleanup.

Once you see and understand how fast the life of the ocean is being extinguished, it is impossible to ignore, nor should it be.

Our dive sites are clean

Here in Playa del Coco, our dive sites are very clean. Even so, we still find garbage and discarded fishing gear regularly. Most of the professional divers in our local area have adopted a wonderful habit of removing any water pollution they find, which is part of the reason our sites are so clean. However, I still see many people passing up trash on a dive. It is my belief that if every diver picked up a little bit of trash each time they dove, the ocean could be a much cleaner place. 

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Our Dive site Cleanup

Organized dive site cleanups are a great way to raise awareness and get a jump start on cleaning up our local areas. They can also be used to concentrate on removing trash from areas that we don’t dive in. As I said, our dive sites here are very clean, so clean, that holding a dive site cleanup at one of our regular sites wouldn’t make much of an impact. Which is why we decided to focus on an area that was popular with fishermen.

The Cleanup was hosted by Rich Coast Diving, a local dive shop on World Cleanup Day. They supplied a boat, captain, tanks and filled any extra spaces with their own staff. We were 8 divers, equipped with mesh bags and cutting tools and a passion to make a difference.

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What we found

On our first dive, we found mostly what we expected. Lots of fishing line, lead fishing weights, and hooks. Each of us came up happy campers. We genuinely enjoyed what we were doing, even if it seemed like work we all had a great time. On the surface, we picked through all of our findings so that we could recycle what we could and properly dispose of the rest.

  • A fin bag full of fishing line
  • A handful of hooks
  • Approximately 30 lbs of lead
  • A plastic pipe
  • 2 knives
  • Several other pieces of miscellaneous garbage

It was our second dive that proved to be a big surprise. I don’t think any of us suspected to find and remove what we did. We started the dive in the same location, however this time, we moved towards a nearby island that many fishermen walk out to during low tide. My buddy and I were diligently looking for garbage before I got distracted by a nudibranch. A moment later my buddy hurriedly got my attention. He had encountered a small wreck with a massive ball of line entangled around the ships decaying anchor.

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It took a bit of effort, but after signaling the other members of our group, and working together, we were able to remove the bundle from the ocean. The Bundle turned out to be mostly made up of a mass of longline. The whole things weighed over 50 pounds and we needed three people to carry it from the boat to the truck.

It’s a Worldwide Problem

Our dive site cleanup proves that no matter where you are, you can find a piece of fishing line or some kind of garbage that doesn’t belong. Plastic pollution has permeated the farthest and most uninhabited regions of our ocean. Meaning that in a place where there are many of us, I’m sure you can find a piece of trash or two. I believe that every dive should be a dive site cleanup, not just the designated dive site cleanup dives. Which is exactly why I am calling you out as a diver and creating this challenge. I challenge you to pick up that garbage and put in its place!

Every dive should be a dive site cleanup, not just the designated dive site cleanup dives #fightoceanpollution

Participating in the #CleanDiveChallenge

Being a part of this challenge is easy. All you have to do is pick up the garbage that you see while diving. Take a picture with that trash and recycle it, upcycle it, or put it in the trash bin. Then, put that picture on social media with the hashtag #CleanDiveChallenge and tag at least one dive buddy. that buddy, in turn, needs to respond to the challenge and tag another buddy. The goal is to have pristine dive sites all over the world and help make our oceans a cleaner place.

Copy paste the text below into your social media post, just don’t forget to tag a dive buddy.

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I completed the #CleanDiveChallenge and I nominate INSERT DIVE BUDDY/BUDDIES HERE
Plastic pollution is going under the radar! Awareness needs to be raised hence the making of this challenge! Anyone who doesn’t complete the challenge needs to donate to project aware at https://netdonor.net/page/17238/donate/1

At the rate we are going, in less than 30 years there will be more plastic in the ocean than there are fish. To stop this from happening we need to not only reduce plastic use but remove the trash that is already polluting our waters. Every year over 100 Million marine animals are killed by garbage in our ocean. It is time that we, as individuals, do something about it.

Learn More about the Clean Dive Challenge https://seareinascall.com/2018/09/26/dive-site-cleanup-challenge/

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Help fight plastic pollution and clean our planet.

As divers, we have a unique opportunity to make an impact. We are diving in key habitats all the time. That’s where all the cool sights are right? So, why not protect these places ourselves? Why not help the animals that we love and care about? It doesn’t take much effort from us, but it will make a big difference for the marine habitats we visit.


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Taking it a step further with Dive Against Debris

If you want to do a little bit more than just participate in this challenge you can always add your findings to Dive Against Debris. This program was created by Project AWARE. The idea is to participate in dive site cleanups and report your findings. They then take that information and create a map of ocean trash. The reported data is very useful and tells us where the highest concentrations of garbage are. This information can lead to trash and recycling reforms in areas where it is most crucial.

As I said before, dive sites cleanups are great, however, people go diving just for fun more often than they participate in active cleanups. You don’t need to wait for a cleanup. You can pick up trash on any dive and submit your findings to dive against debris. You can also donate to Project AWARE to help fight against ocean pollution.

Cheers to Clean Diving!

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Share Away!

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