September is a Project AWARE Debris Month of Action and at Downbelow you can say we've been warming up for that.
Our dive centre is in an idilyc spot on the beautiful Gaya island, which is a mere 10 minutes by boat from the shores of Kota Kinabalu.
Due to various socio-economic reasons, a fair amount of trash ends up in the seas around the city. Every so often the winds and tide turn against us and brings the 'trash tide' to ours shores.
That's when, in the mornings, we get to the dive centre and find our beach and shoreline littered with marine debris.
Thankfully we have dedicated staff who have been trained to understand the importance of marine debris clean-ups and the negative effects of its presence.
In fact, it's the first thing that our local trainees learn when they start their internships with us, and is the guiding principle behind our morning clean-ups before the day starts.
Although we collect trash from our reefs as we encounter them on our daily dives, the majority of the trash we encounter seemst to be bouyant and therefore floats.
We have mangrove swamps near to our dive centre and therefore take extra care to clean-up the floaty trash.
With September getting an extra awareness boost thanks to Project AWARE's Debris Month of Action campaign, Downbelow will be placing extra emphasis on the scourage of our seas.
We look forward to actively engage our community in group efforts to not just reduce what is out there already, but through awareness also reduce what ends up there in the first place.