Scuba Diving Photos
Encounters: Celebrate, American-Style
REEF's lionfish derbies target the invasive species, where divers compete for prizes while helping to control the population.
Nothing puts a pit in a diver’s stomach like seeing the seabed littered with cans or a turtle entangled in plastic. Beach and underwater cleanups organized by local communities and dive shops are like trashy scavenger hunts for a very good cause — and the ocean’s not the only place to get involved.
“We find all kinds of things,” says Cora Lennert of Keep Austin Beautiful, which organizes an annual underwater cleanup at Lake Travis that’s the biggest such event in Texas. “There’s typical lake trash like beers cans, bottles, lots of Solo cups and coozies,” she says, “But also beach toys, sunglasses, tires, mattresses — last year we found the headlight of a riding lawnmower.”
The 2012 event saw more than 400 divers participating with 950 volunteers in total, with 3.6 tons of litter removed, a full 2.6 tons of which was recycled. If you can’t find a cleanup in your local area, you can always spearhead something small and focused of your own.
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