Earth Day Reef/Shoreline Cleanup at Blue Heron Bridge was a huge success!

Pura Vida Divers wants to give a HUGE thanks to all of the volunteers that came out Saturday morning to help with the Earth Day cleanup at Blue Heron Bridge! Even in windy and bone-chilling conditions over 20 divers and land-lubbers turned out to participate in cleaning our reef and shoreline. Their efforts resulted in 200 pounds of garage in just 3 hours!

Trash that made a SPLASH…
• Part of a Mercedes Benz
• Road reflectors
• 400+ cigarette butts/cigar tips
• Damaged work boots
• 200+ Plastic Caps

Aluminum cans, plastic bags, food wrappers, and plastic water bottles made up the majority of items found along the shoreline and in the water. Participants used data cards to categorize and record the collected trash items (which we disposed of properly!). Pura Vida Divers forwarded all of the data collected to the Ocean Conservancy and Project Aware where they compile and track all of the trash collected from around the world. Both organizations are making great headway in accumulating data on marine debris.

Most people are aware of the issues surrounding marine pollution, particularly those related to drastic events like the BP Oil Spill. But how often do you hear about marine debris? Over 80% of marine debris comes from land-based sources due to rapid increases in coastal populations and development. With more people and development comes more waste!

As a result of our excessive trash, 8 garbage patches now exist throughout the oceans where currents converge (Video: Plastic in the Ocean). Often times, pieces of plastic outweigh plankton in these regions…yikes!!! Birds, sea turtles, manatees, and other marine species often become entangled or mistake these chunks of debris for food, causing certain death.

Fortunately, there are many simple ways we can begin to reduce the amount of plastic and other debris that makes its way to the oceans…

Five Ways YOU can Help Reduce Marine Debris:
1. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!!!
2. Increase your knowledge and share what you learn.
3. Do not purchase bottled water; use the water out of your tap, it’s just as tasty!
4. Always bring reusable bags to the grocery store.
5. Collect trash along waterways, beaches, and every time you go scuba diving.

 When you plan your next dive trip with Pura Vida Divers remember to bring a mesh, draw-string bag and a pair of gloves so you can gather any man-made debris you find. Just be sure you don’t remove an item that has become someone’s home (like the octopus Mark Sowash found in a beer can a few weeks ago!).

Great job everyone & thanks for honoring our oceans on Earth Day!

Our partners in the Earth Day cleanup event:
Ocean Conservancy (marine debris information)
Project AWARE Foundation
Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful

Additional Links:
Charles Moore: The Seas of Plastic
Plastic Pollution Coalition
The Story Bottled Water
Flotsametrics and the Floating World by Curtis Ebbesmeyer and Eric Scigliano