Dive Against Debris with SeaExperience
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
September 23, 2023
On Saturday, September 23rd, The International SeaKeepers Society partnered with SeaExperience again to celebrate International Coastal Cleanup Day. After meeting at the SeaExperience dive shop in Fort Lauderdale, we boarded their dive vessel and invited any of the divers to join us in collecting as much trash as we could, and we were joined by 9 eager participants. We headed out to Hog Heaven, the wreck of a 180-foot barge about 60-70 feet deep, intentionally sunk in 1986 as part of the Florida Artificial Reef Program. At this site, we found so many cargo straps and some long pieces of fishing line that we were able to successfully remove from the wreck. On the sand next to the wreck, we found an anchor that looked recently lost, and one of our divers was able to remove it and carry it to the surface. We then headed over to our second dive site, Oakland Ridges, for a drift dive at the shallow reef site which had a maximum depth of about 35 feet. Very little trash was found here, which we were pleased to see. Once back on board, we weighed all of our trash and found we collected a total of 17 lbs of debris, 4.5 of which was just cargo straps and fishing line. We ended our day with a raffle with lots of great prizes for all of the participants. We are grateful to SeaExperience for allowing us to join them, and to all of our volunteers who collected so much debris and left our reefs cleaner than we found them!