Dive Cleanup with SeaExperience
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
September 18, 2022
On Sunday, September 18th, 2022, The International SeaKeepers Society co-hosted a reef cleanup with SeaExperience out of Bahia Mar, Fort Lauderdale. SeaExperience is awarded the PADI Green Star to commemorate their efforts and dedication to conservation and identify them as a dive shop that cares about our coastal environment and actively takes steps to protect it. Five divers participated in the cleanup, which was conducted on Hog Heaven and The Caves, the sites of Sunday’s two tank dive.
Between the five divers, over nine pounds of trash were cleared from the reefs, consisting of cargo straps, fishing wire, and other various items. Considering the small size and light weight of the items retrieved - an average cargo strap weighs about two grams per foot, and the average fishing line weighs about half a gram per foot - we are very impressed with the amount of trash found. While we are excited to have cleared so much trash, we were saddened at seeing so many bleached corals. We came out with SeaExperience to clean The Caves just in July, and saw all the beautiful colors not too long ago, meaning the bleaching happened relatively quickly. We are reminded once again that unless ocean conservation is prioritized on a larger scale, time can run out for our cleanups to make a difference. As always, it is a pleasure to collaborate with SeaExperience, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
CleanSwell is a trash collection mobile app developed by Ocean Conservancy and utilized by volunteers at each of our cleanups that allows them to record the types and quantities of trash found during their clean. Our mission at SeaKeepers begins with the foundation of research followed by the education of communities that empower them to protect and restore the surrounding coastal and marine environments. Data from the CleanSwell app is included in a global database that scientists everywhere can access and provides a means of identifying pollution trends that are location specific. Using CleanSwell at our cleanups involves community members in the Ocean Conservancy’s pursuit of evidence based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and people that depend on it, as well as provides the data necessary for effective local legislation to be written accomplishing the SeaKeepers’ goal of protection and eventual restoration.