Surface conditions were beautiful but the divers quickly realized the visibility underwater was not as great. The bottom of the ocean is very silty at this dive site. Any movement can cause the bottom to stir and decrease the visibility even more. Divers had to be extra careful and practice good buoyancy to avoid making the situation worse. Once divers located large items or their mesh bags became too full to carry back, they could pass off items to divers with diver propulsion vehicles (DPVs). Mahalo to Aukai Scuba, Deco Divers, and a few ODA members for providing this support.
When the divers started surfacing, the people on shore could not believe their eyes! The diver’s bags were overflowing and their hands were full. They surfaced with 6 tires, large ropes, 4 pillows, a suitcase, 7 shoes, 3 purses, a caution sign, a traffic cone, a large amount of fishing line and lead weights, 93 plastic bottles, and so much more. A few divers were even lucky enough to spot a manta ray!
Divers used surface marker buoys to mark large items to return and remove during a second dive with help. It took a lot of teamwork to remove a mattress full of water! Lift bags were also used to help bring heavy items such as boat anchors to the surface.
As the debris was removed from the water, we careful inspected it for any sea life. A small eel, several crabs, a fireworm, and a couple of starfish were careful returned back to the safety of the ocean. All of the debris was sorted and counted, and then bagged for the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to haul away. A big mahalo to DPR for their continued help and support with our cleanups!
In all, 74 volunteers showed up in celebration of Earth Day and removed over 600 pounds of garbage from Magic Island. Tourists and locals came together for the common cause of making the ocean and beaches a little cleaner and healthier. The famous quote “Make Every Day Earth Day” is more true now than it ever was. We need to take time every day to clean and protect the things that provide us with so much.