We all love going to the beach, swimming in the sea, and keeping our eyes open for any local wildlife including: dolphins, turtles and sea birds. But how much do we actually do to keep Quepos and the surrounding area of Manuel Antonio clean?
Oceans Unlimited and Go Pro Costa Rica, are happy to announce our first of the year #Divefordebris to be held on the 4th of April! We will be diving right outside Marina Pez Vela at a site called Maracas. Here we expect to find fishing line, bottles, and reminisce of other manmade materials. I know that we all, in some way, contribute to the tons of waste that gets dumped or washed away into the sea every year.
Organizations like Project AWARE and Surfers Against Sewage, in the UK, are focused on coastal clean ups and diving for debris. These organizations help to educate the public, locals and tourists alike, involving them in local projects. After all, it’s OUR beaches and oceans. WE are responsible for keeping them clean.
We have chosen April 4th for the dive because it falls directly after Semana Santa. During this festival hundreds of people head to the beach towns of Quepos and Manuel Antonio bringing a lot of trash with them. A lot of this trash doesn’t just sit on the beaches, but gets washed away into the ocean. As much as Eighty Percent of the oceans trash problem actually comes from land based activities. (www.wwf.panda.org) Not only does it look unsightly, it can be deadly to marine life and us. We still have yet to discover the full side effects of oceans trash, specifically plastic debris. What we do know is that plastic debris affects over 663 species of marine species and ½ of all marine mammals. We also know that almost 100% of all sea turtles have some plastic inside them because of the trash we leave behind. So so sad.
I used to work at a Seal Sanctuary in Cornwall, England, where many of the world’s Grey Seals live. We rescued between 40 and 60 seal pups every year; weather certainly had an impact in numbers of pups we saw. Many seals that we found had ran into problems with nets and line that local fisherman had left behind.
Here, at Oceans Unlimited, we regularly collect fishing line that’s been caught on the rocks of the reef. Only the other day, Gina, one of our instructors, retrieved a huge fishing net that had entangled a Blunt-headed triggerfish. Thankfully she was able to free the fish from the net and remove the net from the reef. We also try and remove plastics and other debris we find on the surface.
We would love for the community to get involved too! If you would like to contribute to the clean up join us the following day on the 5th of April at the 2nd annual ‘Pounds for Pints’ hosted by Manuel Antonio Brewery Company. We welcome volunteers to get involved and help with our on land ‘limpiar’. For every bag of trash you retrieve, you will be rewarded a refreshing, iced cold beer!
It’s such an important event to get involved with. If you spend even just one hour at the beach helping collect debris, you will help make a difference. Wouldn’t you rather stick your toes in the sand and swim in a trash free ocean than have to walk over that trash and float amongst the debris?
Its up to US to help! If you’d like to be involved then please check out the Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/348670768675023/ and check back here to see how we did!
Remember, it’s never too late to get involved and help save our seas!