Debris Free Bonaire has collected over 100 cubic meters of ocean debris!I’d like to give a shout out to Bonaire, a small Dutch Caribbean island there is very close to my heart, where I first learned to snorkel and fell in love with the ocean.
Debris Free Bonaire is a volunteer-based program that was started by Dive Friends Bonaire with the goal of cleaning up the eastern coast of the island. Due to the direction of major ocean currents, this part of the island gets an unfortunately high input of marine plastics that cover the coastline. Luckily, both the residence of Bonaire and the majority of the visitors are concerned with keeping Bonaire beautiful for conservation purposes like protecting sea turtle nesting sites as well as the tourism activities like shore-diving for which the island is so well-known. Through the Debris Free Bonaire program, volunteers can pick up a mesh dive bag from any Dive Friends Bonaire shop and fill it with marine debris that they see along the beautifully scenic route to the eastern shore. They simply return the bags to Dive Friends Bonaire at Hamlet Oasis where they have the opportunity to pose for pictures in front of the 10 cubic meter collection bin or enter raffles. Debris Free Bonaire has gotten huge community support and in less than a year, the program has removed over 100 cubic meters of ocean debris from the island’s coastline! This is a shinning example of how small-scale conservation programs can really make a difference with local support. Great job Debris Free Bonaire!
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