80 Volunteers and over 300 pounds of trash
removed at the Harvest Pier Clean-up
LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA -- 80 volunteers consisting of local divers, snorkelers, surfers, students and beach-goers participated in the first annual Harvest Pier Clean-Up to help support the Project AWARE movement for a trash free ocean and environment. Volunteers above and below water collected over 300 pounds of trash! The 2 hour event was held on Saturday, November 8, 2014 on and below Anglin’s Fishing Pier in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and was organized by ‘SOS Ocean Clean-Up’ and ‘Gold Coast Scuba.’
Lauderdale-By-The-Sea has a living coral reef and snorkel trail that are easily accessible since it is within 100 yards of its shoreline. Commonly referred to as the "first reef," this underwater habitat is home to Florida's spiny lobster, grouper, rust-colored barrel sponges, protected corals, sea fans and a variety of colorful tropical fish. Divers are fortunate to submerse themselves in a watery world that is unseen by most. It’s beauty is breath-taking yet severly scarred in many places from marine debris such as entangled fishing line, hooks and weights - piling up on the sites they dive. Debris of this nature has a devastating effect on the ocean's sealife and living coral reefs.
“The safety of marine life depends on getting the debris out of the water,” says Lisa Miceli-Capano, founder of the SOS Ocean Clean-up. “Together, we can change and work towards a clean, healthy ocean planet, one dive at a time.”
It was a real eye-opener for all involved and gathered a lot of interest and bemused looks from the public. The plan was simple; to dive and collect as much underwater debris as possible.
"It is such a wonderful thing to see so many people working together to make a difference. Instead of just "liking" or "sharing" an event or cause on social media, like so many people do, these volunteers spent their Saturday morning getting their hands dirty. Kudos," said Brian Gagas,” owner of Gold Coast Scuba.
300 pounds of trash was removed from under the pier and over 35 pounds from the shoreline. The debris was collected, weighed and catalogued by over a dozen non-diving volunteers and consisted of an entire 95 gallon dumpster was filled with entangled fishing line, hooks and lead fishing weight. Also cpulled up from under the pier were fragments of plastic, knives, boom box, scissors, rope, fishing nets, giant cable wires, batteries, spart plugs, towels, clothes, coins, glass bottles, beer/soda cans and even a pair of keys that a fisherman happily claimed were his.
The Harvest Pier Clean-Up brought this small beach front community together as local businesses and non-profits joined forces and showed their appreciation by donating a wide variety of merchandise and coupons that were included in the Stoked On Salt Volunteer Swag Bags. A special thank you to Project Aware, The City of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Anglin's Fishing Pier, Gold Coast Scuba, Reef Relief, Voñe Research, Rhino Doughnuts, Mulligans Beach House, Village Pump & Grille, Kilwins, Windjammer Resort, Genco Italian Sandwiches, Pompano Dive Center, Pompano Force E, We Do Events, Event-Treats, Surface Sunblock, Superior Printworks, PowerIce and Fort Lauderdale Magazine.
A generous donation of 15 Pier clean-up buckets, rope and protective gloves were donated by John Boutin, Manager of the Windjammer Resort and Beach Club... and will be used for future cleanups.
“I love helping out when I see others getting involved and doing projects that protect and improve our most precious of natural resources, our coral reefs," said Windjammer GM, John Boutin.
Stoked On Salt submits their findings to Project Aware’s annual trash index which has all the trash data from around the world. Stopping the trash flow at it's source, before it can reach the water, is everybody's responsibility. Waste, and how we choose to handle it, affects all ecosystems on the planet.
“Please, spread the word about the SOS Ocean Clean Up events through all of your social networks and help us make this happen! Or, simply share the SOS?Ocean Clean Up page on your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page and engage your friend network to do the same and get involved.”
SOS OCEAN CLEAN-UP offers the ultimate volunteer opportunity to tap into your passion for the ocean and put your scuba skills to work for good. Be sure to take part in a local event or organize a Dive Against Debris with a buddy today!