It’s my third year in a row to participate in International Coastal Clean Up Day. And I was wishing I have done it sooner when I become a diver almost five years ago. The issue of coastal protection and preservation has been a major advocacy for all aqua people, if not for individuals who have great concern for our planet. Trash threat for our waters is a serious concern, it has caused so much harm in the marine world. It pained me to see garbage deep down or watching documentaries about human destruction on aquatic environment. Such shame!
Without hesitation I committed for the dive clean up together with my dive mentor’s group, of course it won’t be complete without Angel. We crammed up our weekend for the clean up all the way to the town of Medina plus our specialty lessons in Balingoan. Angel have to be in Cagayan de Oro on a Friday afternoon to catch the early trip to this coastal town.
On a Saturday morning, it was all still but when we got at the Medina pier, things were all ready for the activity. How comforting that the people were all in peace, when two weeks back the town has just been besieged by NPA attack! But on that morning, there were no traces of any bloody encounter. The preliminaries was graced by the local officials including the Mayor, who was so enthusiastic and grateful for the clean-up activity.
Angel and I went to descend right near the pier, on a sandy slope carefully not to disturb the silts. Watching the concrete pillars with the sun rays in between made me remember Ducomi Pier. It’s like a forest scene, like big tree trunks with the sun rays penetrating in between – such a sight to behold! The school of glistening daschylus wiggling in unison in between the pillars was a wonderful sight. I was almost lost I forgot I was there to work, I joined Angel who was already starting to fill up his net bag with trash. I have to stay near him, as my dive computer was not working good!
We gathered bottles, fishing lines, hooks, plastics, sachets, wrappers, clothes, caps, tansans and more. We passed by some tires which we ignored, it was too heavy for us to bring! Our work was punctuated with seeing colorful nudis, puffers, mantis shimp, clown fish, scorpion fish and more. We filled at least three bagfuls of trash cruising to the rope hoisting to collect it all up. We still went for another round when we were summoned to surface, noticing there were no more other divers in sight!
An hour underwater with no less than thirty divers gathering trash did can make a difference not only for the marine life which thrived even with such nuisance debris, but also for the community. I know the litters we picked up were just a speck of a big mountain of garbage in our seas, but I believe in many ways together with other enthusiasts in many parts of the country and the whole world, it was a great job. There is always hope if we all join hands in working to protect our marine environment. There is much work to do for our second home – the sea!
NB. Photos courtesy of DiveSpecial Diving Central.