On September 1st i welcomed myself home by hosting a clean up dive. I had the best turn out yet of my 5 previous clean ups. This really excites me because the purpose of these dives is really to create a community of local divers that care about their reef and want to protect it. These clean up dives show how powerful cooperation can be. I would like to broaden this experience and make this community more effective by educating them about other oceanic issues. My dive buddies love the reef, it is their special place to go outside their daily lives. When they see how much garbage and destruction exists, it’s both infuriating and heartbreaking. These are divers with a purpose, individuals who volunteer their time to help pull fishing line off coral heads. Their not just down there comparing and criticizing the reefs to what they have dived before, they want to help. This is what I mean when I say, “divers with a purpose”. Not everyone gets to see the amazing underwater world, and it is important for those of us who do, spread their knowledge and their passion.
In addition to the clean up dives that will continue on a monthly basis with the help of Kaimana Divers, I have begun to collect data on what type of debris is typically found on the reef. This is in preparation for the possible tsunami debris that is headed our way in the next 2-3 years. I want to collect data on what is found locally so that if/when the tsunami debris comes we have a baseline to detect a differences in debris concentration and content. The data collection offers the potential to ask a lot of questions about our debris like, is it local? who is generating it? how can we minimize it? The impacts on the reef community are devastating, but this also needs to be quantified to give us an idea of what sort of impact we cause with our carelessness. We have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes we are making, and care for our reefs. We all depend on the ocean more than many of us realize. It doesn’t matter if you are a diver or a care salesman, we all have to breathe air, and the ocean is responsible for 70% of the oxygen we breath, so it is important to all of us to do what we can to be stewards of the ocean. Each choice we make in our daily lives affects the world around us, live with a purpose.