There are many ways to fight back against pollution and on Bonaire, a little Dutch island less than 160 kilometers off the coast of Venezuela, this takes the form of scuba diving cleanups.
While Bonaire may be known for a lot of things, it is perhaps best known as a snorkel and scuba diving destination thanks to crystal clear waters and fringing reefs that can be accessed just a hop, skip and a jump from the shoreline.
Every year thousands of water-loving enthusiasts travel to this southern location to enjoy warm weather, world-class windsurfing and some of the best shore diving in the epic marine park that surrounds this island.
And given that Bonaire’s number one selling feature is its marine environment, you can understand why it’s important to protect it.
In Bonaire, local dive shops and environmental groups are invested in the beauty and conservation of their waterways. Scuba diving cleanups have become a regular occurrence as organizations aim to keep their marine animals safe and coral reefs as pristine as possible – after all, it’s this marine ecosystem that drives people to visit this little slice of paradise.
This past Saturday, January 26th, 2019, we had the opportunity to join Dive Friends along with several other co-organizers for a quarterly Dive Cleanup in their sailing club marina. The cleanup initiative brought together roughly 127 divers of all different skill levels.
Armed with mesh bags and full cylinders of air provided by Dive Friends, volunteers took to the water collecting as much trash as could fit in our bags for 45 minutes.
Overall, the dive cleanup brought in approximately 700 kilograms (1,540 lbs) of trash which was sorted into plastic, glass, metal, rubber, wood, cloth, paper, and mixed material. The clean up covered an underwater area of 4,000 square meters (4,3055 square feet) at depths ranging from 1 – 30 meters (1 to 100 feet).
The most problematic marine debris was plastic fragments, glass bottles, and metal scraps. The most unusual item found was a pair of fireman’s pants.
Sadly, there is no place left untouched by pollution – and as you can see Bonaire is no exception.
Plastic bottles, leftover fishing line, car tires, metal scraps… It never ceases to amaze me the amount of junk that people will carelessly discard into the water.
On some of our first dives at iconic Bonaire dive sites such as Salt Pier, we were very surprised at the trash that was left discarded on the bottom.
It really made me realize that whether I’m traveling the world or back home in Canada – human neglect and ignorance remains the same.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – pollution is a problem for our planet.
Cleaning up the damage that has already been done, like we did this weekend, is only a small piece of the puzzle. Awareness and education – like teaching people to pick up after themselves and be smart consumers – help tackle our pollution problem at its source. But this doesn’t happen overnight.
For now, just because you’re not a scuba diver doesn’t mean you can’t contribute. When it comes to our oceans, we need all hands on deck, whether you’re picking up a plastic bag, empty beer can or plastic straw, every little bit counts. It all means one less piece of litter in the environment, and ultimately one less piece of litter that ends up in the sea.
While most people were at home celebrating Mother’s Day, the North Bay Scuba Club donned dive gear and took to the water to clean up the local marina.
Everybody loves the idea of scuba diving, but the aspect of post dive cleanup is a much different story. It’s long, it’s tedious and it almost impossible to do it without getting wet - yet again.
Green initiatives are important and in Zihuatanejo, we had the opportunity to join forces with Zihro Plastic and Dive Zihuatanejo to lending a helping fin.
We all remember the viral Ice Bucket Challenge that went around social media to raise money for ALS? Well, like the Ice Bucket Challenge, the #binbagchallenge was an idea put together to raise awareness on environmental pollution and hopefully take steps towards a cleaner and better future.
Whether your diving with turtles or admiring coral reefs, get ready to be wowed by the underwater beauty of Bonaire, the shore diving capital of the Caribbean.
Submerge yourself into Bonaire's underwater world with this scuba bucket list. It will leave you wanting more from the coral capital of the Caribbean.
Bonaire TEK is an annual October occurrence, where Buddy Dive Resort partners with leaders in the tech diving industry for a week of technical dive demonstrations, equipment trials, presentations, training ins and outs, and camaraderie.
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital DSLR Camera + 32GB Memory Card + Photo4Less Cleaning Cloth.
Dry glove lock system that accommodates all hand sizes
An elegant lead-free wine glass with a shark figurine anchored inside. The perfect gift for wine and shark lovers everywhere.
Ikelite compact ball arm for quick release handle
If you’re not quite ready for the expense of big lights, this little video light goes perfectly with any GoPro setup
Dive hands-free with a diving flashlight glove. This torch holder has a universal adjustable wrist strap scuba and is made of superior nylon material, which means it’s durable and comfortable to wear.
Filled with more than 350 images from National Geographic, 100 Dives of a Lifetime provides the ultimate bucket list for ardent scuba divers and aspirational travelers alike.
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens
Bare SB System Mens Full Under-layer
Black Mares Cruise Roller Tauchen bag, perfect for scuba diving and traveling
Aveeno zinc oxide mineral sunscreen with SPF 50. An environmentally-friendly sunscreen that is oil-free, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and water-resistant.
This new second edition of The Great Lakes Diving Guide is the most comprehensive guide ever written about exploring Great Lakes shipwrecks.
Canon Macro Lens EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM – non Image Stabilised
Suunto SK-8 wrist compass with bungee straps, faster stabilization, and enhanced readability
Flexible Lightweight Portable Tripod for Projector DSLR Cameras and Go Pro
Capture amazingly smooth shake-free video with the GoPro Karma Grip
GoPro HERO6 Black Camera
Scuba diving 4ft neon yellow surface marker signal tube with “Diver Below” print
A 16″ x 16″ sequins blue mermaid decorative throw pillow cover. Perfect for the sofa, chair or bed. The cover does NOT come with a pillow insert.
The dive guide Bonaire is a comprehensive dive guide for use by divers and snorkelers at all skill levels. It describes more than 100 dive sites along with underwater maps and stunning photographs. This all-inclusive dive guide is your handbook for endless diving and snorkeling enjoyment.
Mini blue scuba diving tank key ring with brass pick tool and o-rings
Compact underwater scuba diving hand reel with a 150ft of white line on the spool
Bare 7mm thick elastek dry suit hood
Rechargeable Ikelite NiMH battery pack compatible with Ikelite’s DS125, DS160, and DS161 strobes.
The Sony SEL90M28G FE 90 mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS Standard-Prime Lens for E (NEX) Cameras.
Bare drysuit trek boots designed for rocky shore entries, boat decks, and boat ladders
Fireproof Lipo Charging Safe Bag is a medium size flame retardant bag that safeguards your batteries during charging, transit, and storage.
Size: 20cm X 15cm X 15cm
Ikelite TTL dual flash sync cord attaches two strobe’s to the underwater camera housing.
Ikelite underwater macro lens casing is comprised of an acetyl body with glass front and can hold lenses of 4.37 diameter x 3 inches (111 x 76 mm)
Reusable scuba diver tea infuser for use on loose teas. Easy to fill, empty clean and dishwasher safe. Tea infuser comes with a silicone raft drip tray.
3PC curved armband glow in the dark slate.
Ikelite photography strobe DS161 with NiMH rechargeable battery pack
With marine biologist Dr. Alexander Mustard as your guide, you can learn all you need to know to explore the amazing creatures and landscapes that exist underwater.
Capture amazingly smooth GoPro footage in the air with the GoPro Karma Drone
The Cuticate floating dry box is a waterproof sports container perfect to fit money, ID, cards, keys and more. The case is small, portable, compact, and comes with a lanyard clip hook to take with you as you scuba dive.
Ikelite Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 underwater camera housing in white
DUI heavy duty dry suit gloves with yellow liners available in sizes: S, M, L, XL
Bare 5mm evoke women’s full suit designed by Bare’s all-female design team. The suit has technically, innovative celliant infrared technology which increase circulation, body warmth and performance.
Diving lens filter kit for GoPro HERO 5/6 which enhances colors for underwater video and photography conditions
Bare drysuit drawstring scuba gear bag the perfect alternative for transporting a dry suit to-and-from the dive site
Black Mares Dragon Scuba Diving BCD
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod and Bag with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
The Hydra 5000 WSRU is an all in one photo and dive light with wide, spot, red, and UV modes
SHOOT 6″ Underwater Dome Port for GoPro Hero 6/Hero 5/Hero(2018) Black Camera Diving Lens Hood Housing Photography with Waterproof Case Accessories
Compact scuba diving finger spool with 150ft of white line and a 4-inch brass double-ended clip
Black scuba diving turtle fins
The waterproof scuba diving egg helps keep valuables dry while in the water. The egg is suitable for storing sunglasses, car keys, money and etc.
The inside diameter is 2.07″ and the inside length is 5.04″.
A one-piece dive hanger construction for strength and durability with non-corroding plastic resin. The hanger can support up to 20 pounds.
13-inch inflatable dive buoy with a 12 by 11-inch scuba diving flag surface marker
Sony Alpha a6500 24MP mirrorless camera with a 16-50mm lens, able to shoot 4K movies.
Ikelite aluminum digital camera tray with dual handles
Reef Safe SPF 30 sunscreen for protection against broad-spectrum UVA and UVB.Water-resistant for 80 minutes of swimming or activity. It contains our potent antioxidant blend of Green Tea, Tulsi, Wakame and Olive Leaf.
Suunto Vyper Novo wrist scuba diving computer with USB
GoPro dual battery charger conveniently charges two HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, or HERO camera batteries simultaneously
Bare Sports 5mm men’s wetsuit made with elastek full-stretch nylon-2 and neoprene celliant liner infrared technology.
Sigma MC-11 mount converter lens adapter (Sigma EF-Mount lens to sony E cameras). Essential photo kit contains Altura photo rapid-fire wrist strap, small lens pouch, cleaning kit, and microfiber lens cleaning cloth.