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- Loyda Villarreal
29.42046, -98.657227 View on map
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I have been diving for only about 5 years. It started off as something new and fun, but I never realized how personal and educational it would become. I became fascinated with scuba diving and have always longed for more than 'just diving'. Sadly, I was not aware of the seriousness of the marine debris problem, until I became co-owner to a local dive shop (SA Scuba Shack). Sadly, none of the local dive shops or independent instructors I knew, provided any awareness to the growing seriousness of this problem.
Throughout those initial years, I was an avid diver of the lakes and rivers of our local areas. Most of the time, we saw trash and unless there was any personal benefit (sunglasses, money, jewelry, etc), we were never encouraged to pick it up. I know.. I know, we should not need to be encouraged, but if someone would have stepped up to the plate, we would have picked up that trash. Instead, in our dives we would pick up trash to inspect it (see what it is), then we would put it back in it's place. IN IT'S PLACE! Can you believe I actually thought that? Garbage has NO place in the water... NONE!
As co-owner, I feel a strong sense of duty and responsibility to making a change. I am now committed to using our business, not only as a means to introduce and keep divers involved, but to also use it as a platform to give our ocean's problems a voice. My goal is to stop 'liking' pictures and saying 'Way to Go'.. but also to creating an awareness by developing programs and events to recruit others in doing their part. As a starter, effective immediately, those diving with us through our shop will be REQUIRED to pick up trash and placing it in the appropriate recepticle on land (aka GARBAGE bin).
I WILL make a difference and promise to educate others - one dive at a time.