If you dive, chances are you have heard if Bonaire. It is is famous for its pristine marine park and award-winning diving. As many of my dive and blog junkies know, I am always touting the “take more than you leave behind” philosophy when it comes to marine cleanup. Whenever we dive, we always make sure to do a little cleanup on the dive back in as our way of thanks for seeing and sharing all that our fabulous oceans have to enjoy. Good habits are hard to break, and I personally feel this one is a habit that is good to repeat. So when I came across this article on diverwire, I thought it would be great to share as I know so many people visit Bonaire every year for their diving.
When Dive Friends Bonaire hosts quarterly Clean-Up Dives, efforts are focused upon Bonaire’s various piers in order to have enough trash for volunteers to pick up. On most dive sites, there is no marine debris to be found. However, the eastern, windward coastline is accumulating an enormous volume of plastic debris that drifts over on an ocean current from South America.
Bonaire attracts visitors who are interested in maintaining Bonaire’s immaculate ecology, but not everyone can time their visit to coincide with a clean-up dive. With Debris Free Bonaire, they will all be able to donate a small amount of time to help the environment of Bonaire in a way that is easy, fun, and rewarding.
Anyone who wants to participate can just visit any one of Dive Friends Bonaire’s five dive centers to collect a large mesh bag. They will be shown on a map where the main areas of plastic marine debris are located and make the scenic drive over to the east coast at their convenience. It won’t take long to fill up the bag with plastic debris, but it’s worthwhile to take some time to explore the rugged, uninhabited coastline.
When they return the bag to Dive Friends Bonaire @ Hamlet Oasis, the plastic will be added to the 10 cubic meter container. It’s made from transparent mesh so that everyone may witness how much debris has been collectively removed from the marine environment. Volunteers can be photographed in front of the container. The photos will be uploaded onto the Debris Free Bonaire website so that everyone can watch while the debris is collected.
Each time the container is completely filled, the plastic will be sorted for recycling or proper disposal. All of the volunteers’ names who filled that container will be entered into a raffle for prizes such as free accommodation or diving.
Additional information about the project is available at: www.debrisfreebonaire.com