Last Saturday, as the coast headed out to vote, a team of scuba divers dived into The Haven, Terrigal to take part in a global initiative called Adopt A Dive Site run by environmental nonprofit, Project AWARE®. Almost 300 dive sites around the world have been ‘adopted’ as part of the campaign to regularly remove, record and report marine debris found on the sea floor through the global citizen science project, Dive Against Debris®. Now, thanks to the efforts of Dive Imports Australia club members, the Central Coast now joins the global program with its own adopted site.
Every day rubbish enters our ocean at an alarming rate. More than 250 million tonnes of plastic is estimated to make its way into our ocean by 2025. Marine debris is not only unsightly, it’s dangerous to sea life, hazardous to human health, and costly for our economies. By removing, recording and reporting the rubbish found under our ocean waves, scuba divers around the world hope to bridge a gap in knowledge and build convincing arguments for change.
Divers weighed and counted all rubbish collected from the dive with a total of 13kgs removed. Items ranging from discarded batteries, plastic forks and spoons as well as plastic and rubber hosing were counted and disposed of safely.
Michael Faulkner, Manager at Dive Imports says, “50 percent of the items we collected were plastics, many of which were single use plastic meaning they can only be used once before being thrown away. We’re going to monitor this site every month and, over the course of the year, we’ll build a full picture of the trash found at The Haven. Hopefully we can raise some local awareness and make this beautiful popular spot for tourists and locals a bit cleaner.”
Joanne Marston, Campaign Manager for Project AWARE says, “Many people don’t realise that the trash we leave behind on land makes its way through our streams, rivers and stormwater drains and out to the ocean. Once at sea, it can wreak havoc on our marine life – sometimes with devastating consequences. Our Dive Against Debris surveys help to share with the public, governments and policymakers what actually lies beneath our ocean waves. Ultimately, we want to use the data collected to help inform policy change and stop trash from entering the ocean in the first place.”
Adds Hannah Pragnell-Raasch, Program Specialist, Project AWARE, “The Haven, Terrigal is now the 288th dive site to be adopted worldwide. It joins dive sites from Koh Tao to Hawaii; Florida to the Maldives. We’re excited to see a dive site here on the beautiful Central Coast adopted as well!”
Globally divers have removed over 700,000 items of rubbish from our ocean and have reported almost 4,000 animals entangled in marine debris. If you’re interested in taking part in the next Dive Against Debris survey then contact Dive Imports Australia shop on 4367 5512.
For an exact breakdown on what was discovered at The Haven visit: http://www.projectaware.org/debris-data/ads288-terrigal-haven.