Seven divers, including our PADI Regional Training Consultant Pam, sunk beneath the surface of our house reef to Dive Against Debris. Even Oli, our Dive Centre Manager, donned a wetsuit (this never happens!). After searching for 60 minutes we collected just 8 pieces of trash – a good problem to have!
Our beach clean-up proved a little more fruitful with 20 staff collecting 22kg of trash in just 30 minutes. Unfortunately, as with previous clean-ups, 77% of items we collected were plastic – a trend that continues around the world. (Although our Dive Master Gardo also got a new car out of it)
We rounded off the week by going BIG. Teaming up with Liquid Resort, the Institute for Marine Research and Instructor Development Philippines we tackled the trash at a local riverbed. As we are currently in the midst of rainy season, heavy downpours can flood dry riverbeds, flushing their contents onto the ocean (not ideal). Thirty of us spent a hot and sweaty hour collecting cement bags, metal wire and picking up cigarette butts. The resulting haul weighed in at over 147 kilos! A satisfying end to Project AWARE week.
We submitted all data gathered on our clean-ups above the waves to the Ocean Conservancy’s* global dataset. The participants logged the Dive Against Debris results with Project AWARE**. We sort, categorise and recycle (if possible) or dispose of appropriately all trash collected during the course of any of our clean-ups.
*The Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Clean-up Day is now in its 34th year. This year is expected to beat 2018, with over 1 million people collecting over 10,000,000 kilos of trash!