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Quarterly Clean Up – January 2021

Happy New Year, welcome in 2021!

Good resolutions and time to start the year with a thorough clean up of the town’s center. The town center’s reef to be precise!

As you might be aware Dive Friends Bonaire is not only the biggest dive center on Bonaire but also we are the leading dive center on conservation and clean up actions on Bonaire. Next to our 6 adopted house reefs who get a monthly clean up, keep an eye on our agenda for this planning. We also host the biggest underwater clean up event on diver’s paradise 4 times a year. After all the new year’s festivities we thought it would be a good idea to jump in at the town’s center Pier where also one of our main event sponsors Karel’s town pier bar is located.

With all COVID measures we had to ensure that all divers and staff of course were safe and distant so we had all our volunteers checking in on preserved times, separated 20 minutes apart to guarantee diver safety and distance. After checking in, gearing up and briefings our buddy teams hit the water in their own teams. 24 divers means 12 buddy teams searching about 250 m2 and gather a Debris collection of 65 kilo’s!

All debris was counted, reported and separated and in the end handed over to our proud sponsor Selibon for recycling! Afterwards we had a drink sponsored by Karel’s town pier bar and then we continued into an online raffle, with several beautiful prices handed to us by our sponsors!

The price winners were:

Henk & Angela Diters
Adam Ward
Tadzio Bervoets
Maaike kosmis
Vicky Hoflack
Virginia Knight
Anita vd Wal
Marlies Wolters.

All prizes were donated by our proud sponsors:

Bonaire Automation
Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire
Tropical nature Bonaire
Dee Scarr
Karel’s Beach bar
Selibon Bonaire

 

For the detailed information about this clean up, check out the event page:
https://projectaware.org/debris-data/karels-beach-bar-0

Quarterly Clean Up | Collage

Quarterly Clean Up Dive | October 2020

 

Team up to clean up!

Our fourth and last Quarterly Clean Up Dive of 2020 was on October 17th. Due to the current situation with COVID-19, all things are a little bit different then our previous clean ups. That was not going to ruin the fun (or any day for that matter!)!

We met up with our Dive Friends staff and volunteers at our central location, Yellow Submarine. Our goal was to clean-up the Bonaire Harbor front. A big wind reversal hit this part a few days ago. There was a lot of damage to the local fishermen’s pier and the boats that are moored up. It blew a lot of trash into the ocean. Our crew and volunteers were there at the right time and at the right moment to clean up the trash!

To make sure everyone’s health and safety was guaranteed. We made a reservation schedule for checking in our 40 volunteers. The first group started at 9 am then with 20 minutes interval time. We continued until all 40 people were checked in.

The divers had a great time, who can blame them!? Going out for a beautiful dive and doing something good for the ocean, is always a good idea! The first group returned after about an hour and we started counting right away. There was a lot more trash then we expected, and bags returned full or overflowing, which is a good thing! This means the ocean is a lot of a cleaner place now then it was yesterday 😉

Collected trash

We collected 180 kilos of trash, most of which were plastic fragments. We also collected 144 glass bottles, a reef anchor and a few very new looking pieces of clothing. After sorting out all the trash we put it in separate containers provided by Selibon. They sponsor us in every clean up dive and recycle all the trash. We register every piece of trash to Project AWARE.

Project AWARE

Project aware is worldwide non-profit organization. It is based solely on the conservation of our oceans, marine life, and everything that we love and want to preserve.

The data that they receive from clean up dives all over the world, can not only lead to the sources of pollution, but also built a detailed map of all marine debris that is cleaned out by divers.

For the actual results and more details about this cleanup dive please check out our Project AWARE page, which has every single piece of trash we counted nicely displayed in a virtual graph.

More information on Project AWARE and the worldwide marine debris map.

Eco-conscious

Dive Friends Bonaire is eco-conscious and organizes monthly clean ups.  We are a 100% AWARE Dive shop! We have adopted and maintained our house reefs by doing clean up dives. All our dive shops are as eco-friendly as possible. As a result of our 100% status, we get to certify you with cool cards with pictures of manta’s, sharks, and leafy green sea dragons.

Thank you for joining this clean up dive!

In the end it was a delightful end of a very successful day. Again, we left the ocean a little cleaner than it was before, and we got to hang out with super enthusiastic divers.

A big shoutout to all our volunteer divers, crew and everyone that has made this clean up dive possible!

If you were on this Quarterly Clean Up Dive, thank you for protecting our ocean and we hope to see you a next time!

 

By: Pieter de Groot

Quarterly Clean Up | August 2020

Quarterly Clean Up Dive | August 2020

Team up to clean up, that’s our slogan for the Quarterly Clean Up Dive!

We had our third quarterly clean up for 2020 on August 1st. Due to the current situation with COVID-19, all things are a little bit different then our previous cleanups but that was not going to ruin the fun (or any day for that matter!)! We met up with our Dive Friends staff and volunteers at our newest partner location, Resort Bonaire. Location manager Eddy, together with other staff members, made sure we were well prepared for our divers.

We welcomed groups of maximum 9 divers total every 20 minutes to avoid crowds. Our buddy teams were no bigger than 3. Divers signed up in advance and chose a time to pick up tanks and listen to the briefing before entering our site for today, Bachelors Beach. It is a very popular site among locals to hang out at. There is a food truck on the beach with delicious burgers and (mucho mucho garlic) fries so we expected to collect a lot of trash.

Photographers

Pieter and Aimee were our photographers and took pictures and videos of the day. The first group started at 10 am, the last group at 12 pm. The divers had a great time, who can blame them!? Going out for a beautiful dive and doing something good for the ocean that gives you mayor karma-points, is always a good idea!

The first group returned after about an hour and we started counting right away. There was less trash then we expected, and bags returned half full or even less, which is a good thing!

We collected 30 kilos of trash and sorted it in separate containers provided by Selibon. It was mostly plastic but also some big and heavier pieces of metal. The local trash company is invested in recycling and the environment. They help us out at all our cleanups by providing containers and picking them up afterwards.

We are also lucky with our partners because one of the bonuses at Resort Bonaire is their restaurant, Paradise Pizza! They offered all the staff and participants a nice lunch deal and nobody could resist a delicious pizza and soda after their hard work.

It was a delightful end of a very successful day. Bachelor’s beach is cleaner than we thought, made it even cleaner, and we got to hang out with super enthusiastic divers. We even had a few divers participating for the first time, which is always nice!

Until then, we will focus on cleaning our house reefs at least once a month for our adopt a dive site project.

Thank you for joining this clean up dive!

A big shoutout to all our volunteer divers, crew and everyone that has made this clean up dive possible!

If you were on this Quarterly Clean Up Dive, thank you for protecting our ocean. We hope to see you a next time!

For all the results of this dive, please visit the Project AWARE page.

Hope to see you at our next quarterly cleanup dive on October 17th!

Clean Up Dive | July 2019

 

Team up to clean up! Another successful Dive Friends Bonaire Quarterly Clean Up Dive at North Pier Saturday, July 27th. The North (or town) pier is used by cargo/cruise/military ships; which means it sees a lot of traffic and is not usually open for scuba diving. Furthermore, fisherman choose this as a spot to dangle their lines looking for their catch of the day. Combine these two factors, and you’ll see why there’s a lot of rubbish to clean up here.

Thank you to the 84 volunteers: locals and visitors who came out full of enthusiasm and energy. We removed an estimated 440 lbs. of trash from the reef, the equivalent weight of a blue whale’s heart. This was largely due to the hundreds of glass/ceramic bottles and fragments collected. Plus, 15 tires from the help of the awesome team at Deepsea Freediving School Bonaire.

Although plastics were not the most abundant category for the first time in 2 years, fishing line remained the most abundant item. Roughly 80 km; we estimated you could stretch the line from here to Curacao! All items are sorted and counted; with the data getting reported to Project Aware. Don’t let your dives go to waste, dive against debris! See you at the next one: Saturday, October 29th 2019.

Clean Up Dive July 2018

The latest Dive Friends Bonaire Quarterly Cleanup Dive took place on Saturday July 28th. We cleaned up a very special location, namely the exclusive North Pier in the center of Kralendijk.

 

For the Dive Friends crew, the day started with setting up the tent, the tables and getting 100 tanks to the North Pier. The first enthusiastic participants showed up to join us in no time. By 9.45am, 72 divers had signed up to clean up! After an inspiring briefing from Clean Up Captain and DFB Instructor Caitlin about clean up guidelines, safety measures and the importance of taking good care of Bonaire’s beautiful coral reefs, everybody was ready to enter the water.

After about an hour dive people came back with mesh bags full of trash. The amount of trash surrounding the pier was enormous. The biggest challenge for this particular dive was physically taking the bags out of the water, because they were completely full.  The DFB crew assisted by taking the mesh bags allowing the divers to exit the water and get it counted at the trash collection point.  All the data collected from the cleanup dive is given to the Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris program entering a GLOBAL DATABASE to help support the development and implementation of policies to improve solid waste management, both locally and globally.

We would like to give a big thank you to the people who removed debris from the beloved ocean, but also to those who helped the marine creatures that had accidentally been collected and returned them to the reef.

Roughly estimated the 72 divers removed:

  • 5 km (3.25 miles) of fishing line as well as 48 fishing sinkers and hooks! Fishing line is a serious threat to Bonaire’s sea turtles and other marine life.
  • 43% of what was removed was plastic; a whopping 143 plastic fragments
  • 304 glass bottles, glass and ceramic fragments
  • 36 items of clothing as well as 22 hats
  • 73 beverage cans
  • 63 carboard fragments
  • … and 12 credit cards!

The most notable items found during this clean up were a record player, a traffic cone, four metal chairs, and a road sign!

Later that evening everybody came together at Dive Friends Bonaire @ Hamlet Oasis to celebrate the successful cleanup with a potluck barbecue.

Another big thank you goes out to all of our sponsors for this quarterly Dive Friends Bonaire Clean Up Dive. The divers thoroughly enjoyed the raffle prizes at the BBQ! We would like to thank Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, Selibon, Project Aware, 4 Oceans, Coco Palm Garden, Bonaire Harbor, Warehouse, Aquafun, Bonaire East Coast Diving, La Cantina, Caribbean Dive Trading, Palm Trading, Peter Jager, Susan Porter, Ocean Reef, and Treasure by the Sea!

We look forward to the next Quarterly Cleanup, which will take place on October 20th.

Not able to join? Visit your Dive Friends location to check the out the amazing PADI Specialty Dive Against Debris, or have a look at www.debrisfreebonaire.com to find out how you can still help us and Bonaire!

 

 

Quarterly Clean Up Dive | April 2018

Question: what do you get when you combine 63 amazing volunteers, a collection of mesh bags, dive tanks, a trash container, and an enthusiastic Dive Friends crew?

Answer: Yet another amazing Clean Up Dive! In this blog, you can read all about the latest Quarterly Cleanup, organised on Saturday April 21st along the harbourfront.

 

For the Dive Friends crew, the day started early with the setup of the registration point in front of Bonaire Sailing School. They were almost immediately joined by the first volunteers who were most willing to help putting up the tent and arranging the tables. By the time the briefing started, 63 divers and snorkelers were registered and almost ready to jump in. However, not before Clean Up Captain and DFB instructor Caitlin Hale finished briefing them about our clean up guidelines, safety measures and the importance of taking good care of Bonaire’s beautiful coral reefs!

Paying extra attention to traffic in the busy boating area, divers and snorkelers got in the water between 10.15am and 10.45am. To avoid getting near any boats and creating potentially dangerous situations, DFB crew had placed a mooring line earlier that morning to guide divers safely towards the reef and, later, back to the exit point. Several divers were provided wooden, turtle-shaped tools to wrap up fishing line that they would collect underwater. We would like to give Sea Turtle conservation Bonaire a special thank-you for handing out these tools! Fishing line was one of the most targeted materials as it poses a serious threat to Bonaire’s sea turtles and other marine life.

Once again, there was an amazing team spirit underwater. Both divers and snorkelers enjoyed cleaning the area, even though they were giving extra Cleanup challenges given the strong current! Upon exiting the water, divers were assisted by our crew in taking off gear and taking the mesh bags to the trash collection point. Underway, many divers posed for our brand-new sign, to let the world know that they cleaned up Bonaire with Dive Friends Bonaire!

Some fantastic volunteers helped us with counting all the trash. A big thank you goes out to them as well! Together, we removed 1171 items from the reef, of which 42% was plastic. An approximate 573 meters of fishing line was collected. Compare this with famous building such as the CN tower (“only” 553.33 meters tall) or the Sears tower (“only” 527 meters tall), and you get a clear picture of the magnitude of the fishing line problem.

Among the most notable found items were a plastic Gucci bag, an alternator rotor and a can of sardines… actually filled with sardines! Although tempting, we decided not to bring it to the potluck barbecue that was held at Dive Friends@Hamlet Oasis the same evening. Once again, there was a table full of tasty dishes brought by the participants, and meat prepared on the barbecue by DFB crew members.

Our sponsors dedicated great prices to the raffle, which were handed out to the lucky winners prior to the barbecue. For this, we’d like to thank Bonaire East Coast Diving, Aqua Fun Bonaire, The Brewery, Caribbean Dive Trading, La Cantina, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, Delfins Beach Resort, DCNA, Coco Palm Gardens, Warehouse and Susan Porter. A special thank you goes out to Selibon NV, for providing the trash container during the actual clean up.

Once again, we had a great morning and evening, during which we even sang “Happy Birthday” for one of the volunteers who dedicated her birthday to this great cause! We look forward to the next Quarterly Cleanup, which will take place on Saturday July 21st. Can’t wait that long? Have a look at www.debrisfreebonaire.com and find out what more you can do. Stay tuned!