Beach Clean-up!

For a week in January we welcome a group from Ocean Sports in Edmonton, Alberta. Kari and Matthew have been involved with Ocean Sports for many years, first as customers, then as divemasters, then instructors, and in 2007 they began hosting excursions here to Blue Angel. Many happy divers from Canada have experienced the wonders of Cozumel’s diving and all the awesomeness that Blue Angel has to offer through this relationship.

This year, one of the repeat guests decided she would take things to the next level. Amy Walczak completed her OW and AOW training here in January 2010, and over the summer completed the AWARE Coral Reef Conservation Specialty and the Project AWARE Specialty Course (as well as her Rescue Diver training, Enriched Air Diver, Drysuit Diver and Emergency Oxygen Provider – whew!). When she visits Cozumel in January, she has something new up her sleeve…

Amy Walczak, PADI Rescue Diver and Ocean-Lover has this to say: “I love diving, I love the ocean and I love everything in it. Except of course, all the trash. The pop cans, the plastic, the ghost nets and all the other junk that’s accumulating underwater and destroying marine habitats. It saddens me to go explore someplace that feels so other worldly, so different than anything we experience on dry land, only to be jarringly reminded of our own invasiveness at the sight of garbage where it shouldn’t be. As scuba divers we see more than anyone else the effects of marine debris and we have the skills and the opportunities to venture underwater and actually DO something about it. Cozumel diving is all in a marine protected area and so already quite clean and free of debris. There are always exceptions though and hopefully we’ll all keep our eyes open throughout the week and get rid of anything that doesn’t belong (and that hasn’t become home to some creature or another!). But we can do more than that…we can go DO something about all the garbage on the public beaches that is going to end up in the ocean. So that’s just what we’ll do! We’re planning to spend a great afternoon getting away from the hotel to check out the rest of the island, enjoy the sand, sunshine, company and clean up one of the public beaches while we’re at it. It’s a fantastic way to give back to the Coz community as well as empower each other to be active ocean conservationists! If you haven’t also checked out Project AWARE yet, you really should. They provide everything you need to plan and host a conservation activity (whether it’s a clean-up or saving the sharks) and they also offer some fantastic specialty courses to help you become a better diver (and dare I say, a better citizen of this planet). I’m super excited to have this chance to ‘put my money where my mouth is’ when it comes to marine conservation and I’m psyched that so many of you are already willing to join in! That beach won’t know what hit it. And let’s face it – we’ll all need the opportunity to even out our wetsuit tans.

The really great news is that YOU can join us! January 21; details at Blue Angel Resort, or by sending us an email!

You can read Amy’s blog post about the clean-up here, and read more about her training adventures here.

beach trash
Photo via Kevin Krejci via Flickr Creative Commons
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