DIVE REPORT: MARINE CLEANUPS COMBAT ONGOING TRASH PROBLEM

Seanna Knight and Nate Sterns are the driving force behind Florida Keys Dive Center's lauded ‘No Trash Left Behind’ marine debris reduction efforts. CONTRIBUTED

BUMPY RIDE OUT THERE 

Conditions this past week were bumpy but doable. Those kinds of conditions are annoying until you descend. Then it’s beautiful until you ascend and have to wrestle the ladder to get back aboard. 

MORE SPORTY CONDITIONS TO COME

This week looks like the exact same issue.  So if you do go out, be extra careful.  Make sure your anchor is set and be mindful of that ladder.  

CLEANING DEBRIS FROM THE DEPTHS

Even with the conditions a bit sporty we did manage to conduct a few marine debris cleanup dives. We were fortunate to be awarded a grant from the PADI Aware Foundation for our debris cleanup program. Sixteen ocean-protection projects from around the world were recognized for their efforts in ocean science and sustainability. Florida Keys Dive Center was the recipient in the marine debris category. This effort was fueled by our conservation coordinators Seanna Knight and Nate Sterns. The two put together a program to combat the marine debris issue titled “No Trash Left Behind.” 

This program gets visiting divers out conducting “Dive against Debris” dives. Each diver receives a bag and a pair of gloves and together do two reef dives collecting trash. The results are then sent to PADI Aware, which records their efforts. There are many activities that focus on ocean conservation in the Keys, including lionfish derbies, coral restoration and shark-aware dives. And due to Knight and Sterns’ efforts, we can add marine debris cleanups as well. If anyone is interested in partaking in our “Dive against debris” dives please call the shop at 305-852-4599.

ICARE

Speaking of ocean conservation, I.CARE will be planting this Saturday at Key Dives out of Bud n’ Mary’s Marina.  

CONSERVATION TIP

Though we clean up the trash in our oceans, still be mindful when you are out there. One of the biggest trash items we constantly retrieve is fishing line. Let’s do our best to limit this problem.

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Eric Billips is is the owner, captain and instructor at Islamorada Dive Center and Floridia Keys Dive Center. He specializes in scuba, rebreather, spearfishing and captaining in the Florida Keys