Dive Friends and RBC Blue Water Project Clean Above & Below Water at Te Amo Beach

Kralendijk, Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean, June 16, 2012

Dive Friends and RBC Blue Water Project Clean Above & Below Water at Te Amo Beach

On Saturday, June 16, 2012, volunteers gathered at Dive Friends Bonaire’s Port Bonaire location to participate in a special Blue Water Project clean up dive and beach cleanup.   The RBC Blue Water Project is an innovative, wide-ranging, 10-year, global commitment to help protect the world’s most precious natural resource – water.   RBC Royal Bank has a longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability, and has chosen to focus on water because they believe that access to water will be one of the most significant environmental and economic issues facing the world in the coming decades.

Asko Zuidam of Dive Friends Bonaire addressed the group of 62 divers and explained what trash should be recovered and what should be left behind, as well as how to keep from damaging any marine life. Shortly afterward, the divers entered the water and began to fill their bags with trash. While waiting for the divers to return, volunteers patrolled the beach to remove rubbish such as plastic, cigarette butts and bottles.  After the divers returned to the beach with their collected items, Dive Friends crew and volunteers checked once again to be sure no marine creatures had been inadvertently included.  Then they counted and tallied the trash for Project AWARE Dive Against Debris statistics, and disposed of everything responsibly.

Te Amo beach is a very popular location, enjoyed by tourists and locals alike.  It was chosen for the cleanup because the pier and jetty at the mouth of the marina collect a large amount of fishing line.  Discarded fishing line is a deadly hazard to marine life, particularly turtles.  This clean up netted 170 pieces of fishing line, which is more than any Dive Friends Bonaire clean up dive this year.  Other items collected include:  76 glass bottles, 67 plastic utensils, 34 caps and lids, various electronics, building materials, unidentifiable pieces of plastic and much more.

After the dive, all volunteers and their families were welcomed back for a Pot Luck BBQ—Dive Friends Bonaire and RBC Royal Bank, the sponsors of the Blue Water cleanup, provided drinks and main courses, while participants supplied side dishes.

The next quarterly Dive Friends Bonaire underwater cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, July 21, 2012.

The RBC Royal Bank Blue Water Project is an innovative, 10-year, global commitment to help protect the world's most precious natural resource.  For additional information, visit http://bluewater.rbc.com .

Additional information about the cleanups is available at: http://www.dive-friends-bonaire.com/clean_up_dives.html.  All are welcome to join in.