Last Saturday we participated in our first underwater cleanup effort – diving Deerfield’s Beach Pier to remove mono-filament line, hooks, lead sinkers and whatever other debris we found in order to protect aquatic life. Turtles, fish and other marine life can get hurt, or worse die, from entanglement in discarded fishing line. Divers and snorkelers were using cutting tools and small rakes to go through the sand collecting debris from the seafloor and from the coral growth on the submerged portion of the pier. Surface volunteers were pulling up the filled buckets out of the water to dispose of the debris on shore. There was even an organization that repurposes used fishing line for recycling.
Tip: Don’t bring your favorite cutting tools as we could see the rust spreading on our tools at an incredible speed in the salt water – buy a cheap tool instead!
Normally, this area is off limits for divers since people are usually fishing from the pier. The city of Deerfield Beach closed it up for the event. It was a treat to see the pier’s underwater inhabitants: shrimps, sea spiders, juvenile fish, corals and we even saw a rockfish hiding under a ledge, probably waiting to catch it’s next meal. Schools of fish were swimming by and although we didn’t see one, turtles also visit the pier regularly.
We enjoyed participating in this underwater cleanup effort and we will definitely do it again!
As part of the cleanup event organized by Dixie Divers, there was also an attempt to break a Guinness World Record for the longest chain of underwater divers. The previous record was of 182 divers holding hands underwater in Thailand. Lot’s of people showed-up for the event and while the count is still settling a new record was set with at least 240 divers if not more!
This last record setting dive was probably one the most unique dives we have done, but far from the most exiting. Just holding hands and holding on to a rope underwater waiting for the total count to be completed instead of exploring a wreck or reef. Many divers weren’t included in the official count, since there weren’t enough tags for all but we’re hoping they find a way to count everyone that showed up and participated.
It’s our planet – let’s clean it up!