Monday, September 1, 2008

Divers must lead the clean- up of the coral reef and beach


by Charles Roring

Scuba divers are the first hand eyewitnesses to marine pollution caused by human activities. Therefore, diving communities must create awareness and lead the public to carry out the cleaning up of the sea and the beach.
Every third Saturday of September, volunteers from more than 100 countries participate in international clean-up day. This is the day where scuba divers, school children, beachgoers, citizens go to the beach and pick up debris. The collection of debris is not only taken place along the beach but also underwater especially among the coral reef which is the vocal point of fragile marine habitat.
The increase of population and human activities greatly influence marine environment. The garbage, the town dwellers threw to the sea, have polluted the water and killed the fish. Plastic debris such as bottles and cups need hundreds of years to decompose.
Many factories which were constructed along the harbor and coastal area produce harmful chemical waste that will destroy our marine environment.
Underwater clean up which includes volunteers have to be organized or lead by experienced dive masters or instructors. They have to make several dives to get a feel for currents and underwater hazards.
In addition, divers can also approach businesses to participate in the clean up day. To attract more volunteers, divers can write article about the importance of coral reef and marine habitat to our life and how clean up activities are needed to restore it. When doing the clean up in busy waters, such as harbor area, warn the volunteers of the boat traffic. Also tell port administrator and boat operators so that they will take precautions for that.
The cleaning up can be canceled and rescheduled if the weather is bad. When doing a underwater cleanup be sure to keep the number of divers smaller. Two or three divers are more effective than crowded ones. Two many divers may damage the corals.
Only man made debris that should be removed. Don't take bottles that have become the hiding places of fish unless there is not any aquatic life living in them.