This May 2017 kicks off the second year of our commitment to Project Aware’s “Adopt A Dive Site” Program. For twelve straight months, we have religiously conducted monthly Dives Against Debris and collected over 123.32 kg (271.89 lb.) of underwater debris! In terms of piece count, this translates to 2,179 pieces of debris offloaded from our favorite underwater backyard, Kontiki Marina. We couldn’t have possibly done this without patrons supporting the cause.
This year, as we strive to continue our efforts, we hope to give back to our most loyal patron. We will still be doing at least 1 dive against debris every month and from the period May 2017 to April 2018, the patron with the highest attendance will earn the “Diver Against Debris” specialty certification for FREE. That’s right, at the end of our second year of collecting underwater debris, one truly dedicated underwater warrior will earn the Project Aware Diver Against Debris certification, honoris causa. That’s the least we can do for our beloved ocean warrior. This certification will bring you closer to achieving Master Scuba Diver rating later. We will be posting the Dive Against Debris schedules as events on our Facebook Page so watch out for that. The first event will be on May 28, 2017.
We continue to hope we get to a point where we would be proud to say we have no debris to report. To add more meaning to our efforts this year, all underwater debris collected which can be upcycled as ecobricks will be used as such. Look out for our upcoming post on the dos and don’ts of ecobricking!
Until then, keep diving but don’t let your dives go to waste and don’t ever, ever litter.
We have been consistently gathering underwater warriors every month to help us clear the ocean from debris one dive at a time. To commemorate our commitment to helping keep our ocean trash-free, our twelfth monthly dive against debris was done on Earth Day 2017. We were graced by the presence of fellow dive pro Greg and his wife Ivy, Earl and his son Ethan, Hilbert and Doc Karl.
It being Earth Day, there were a few efforts made in our adopted dive site, Kontiki Marina, during the morning. A group of local divers did a clean up dive for the local government unit (LGU) of the City of Lapulapu. Since our scheduled Dive Against Debris was set at 2PM, we were kind of excited by the prospect that we might not have anything to report for the dive. As pointed out by Greg we have to remember the clean up was made in the morning and that the time from then and 2PM trash could accumulate considering the boat traffic on one Sunday during summer. Sad to say Greg was right. We were able to harness 27 lbs of trash, despite the fact that the LGU unearthed a huge amount of trash which prompted one standard size garbage truck on standby for the aftermath.
As usual, the profile of the garbage we collected consist mainly of plastic. To get more insights on the type of trash collected, you may click here. Photos taken during the event are up on our Facebook Page.
This being our 12th set of data collected, we will be compiling a year’s worth of garbage collected from our beloved adopted dive site Kontiki Marina. We will be publishing a report on this along with other ways on how we can be of help so look out for this upcoming post!
Our heartfelt thanks to this month’s patrons. We hope to see you again next month!
Is Your Sunscreen Saving Your Skin but Harming the Environment?
It’s summer time again on this part of the world. The sun has been meaner more than ever and thus requiring more potent sun-protection additives to sunscreens. When going out to buy one for your upcoming summer adventures in the beach, please also consider the effects this may have on our underwater friends especially the corals. It’s not enough that the label reads “organic”.
Be mindful of the ingredient called oxybenzone. This is component found in many sunscreen products as well as shampoo and mascara. It is a very dangerous component which can cause severe deformity in corals and even death to these underwater creatures. Per MarineSafe.Org, one drop of this substance is equivalent to six and a half Olympic-size swimming pools’ worth of water sufficient to damage coral. It’s that harmful to our underwater friends. It could also even be harmful enough to humans as this substance is being tagged as an endocrine disrupter, meaning it affects the hormones and reproductive functions of the user. Oxybenzone is currently being tagged as a product which meets the criteria for substances under high concern and is included in the list of substances which needs to be replaced. MarinSafe.org has published a list of chemicals commonly found in sunscreen lotions which may be beneficial to humans but are extremely deadly to corals. You may access the list on this link.
Next time you use a sunblock when you hit the waters, consider buying green brands. Or you may go to your garden and check your pantry. You can whip up some concoction free of petrochemicals and other artificial ingredients. For a natural water-resistant sun lotion, you may use the gel of an aloe vera and mix it with some beeswax, shea butter, olive oil, and rosemary extract– these are the common ingredients used in marine-approved sunscreens. And just wear a hat!
It’s been our tenth consecutive month doing a Dive Against Debris and we are still getting lots of things which don’t belong underwater. This month we were able to collect 18 lbs of debris off the sea. As usual, this is mostly comprised of plastic. The full report on the types of debris collected may be accessed here.
As always, we are forever thankful to our patrons who support the cause. Special shout out to Jan, Tanya and Jayvee! We look forward to having more and more volunteers in the future. Our tribute slideshow to this month’s event may be viewed here.
Next month, we are scheduling the Dive Against Debris on Earth Day, April 22. This will be an afternoon dive followed by a chill night dive. Hope to see you there!
It’s been a busy month we forgot to post an update on how our adopted dive site, Kontiki Marina, is doing after the 9th monthly Dive Against Debris.
This month, we are very proud to feature a fellow eco warrior, Gringo – more known in the digital world as @gringograss. Gringo is a visual artist who is passionate about many things, ocean art and marine conservation included. Gringo has agreed to help our cause by making his art available to us for sale via t-shirts and proceeds of which will be used to fund the dives of our future divers against debris volunteers. You may check out Gringo’s art at instagram via this link: https://www.instagram.com/gringograss/ and please do look for Mr. Farts, the turtle our hearts just bleed for. And look out for those shirts too! They’ll be coming around real soon.
In the meantime, you may check out the full details of the 6 kg of debris collected in this link. Thank you very much to our amazing eco warriors.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year to go diving against debris. With the occasional rain showers and tropical depressions the past weeks, the ocean has brewed up another batch of garbage stew. Add the island hoppers making the most of what’s left in their 2016 leave credits and Christmas partying aboard and you’ve got the perfect storm of trash to clean up after.
It was quite sad that despite the poll we did as to the availability of people who can join on the 1oth or 18th, we managed to gather just 7 participants in this month’s event. Those who pledged availability on the 10th ended up busy on the day and those who pledged they can only come if it’s on the 18th ended up showing up on the 10th. It’s okay guys, we can always use another underwater warrior for next month. This month’s effort freed the ocean of another 15 lbs of debris – still mostly plastic followed by a good number of wood materials and then foil mostly from food wrappers. Full details of the debris collected can be accessed here. Dive Funatics would like to give a sincere thank you to this month’s divers against debris.
After the clean up dive we had a little salo-salo over bam-i, bread and soda (carb0 loading for the night dive! :D). This has been one of the most rewarding night dives for 2016. Visibility was extremely awesome and the underwater creatures who came out to play were very wonderful creatures – a number of cuttlefishes, a couple of baby mimic octopi, rock lobsters, orangutan crab, eels and sea kraits, sponge crabs, and a whole other bunch of coral crabs of all shapes and sizes. It’s unfortunate the camera ran out of battery after the first dive. Pictures are posted on our Facebook page. Feel free to tag yourselves.
November has been a busy month for everyone but before the it ended, we still managed to squeeze in a dive dedicated against debris on the last Sunday of the month. We were only able to pool 5 people for this month’s event but we’re happy (and sad at the same time) to report we have freed up the ocean of another 25 lbs of debris.
This month’s dive against debris is special despite our modest headcount. One participant was celebrating her 100th dive and we couldn’t be any more proud that she chose to support our cause and dedicated her milestone as a dive against underwater debris.
In a nutshell, of the 25 lbs of debris collected, majority was still plastic. There is an ever rising count of wet wipes and clothing material underwater. This type of debris normally fall on a sizable surface area of coral seriously affecting the lives of these creatures. A huge fishing net was collected and inspected for any entanglement. One little red coral crab was released unharmed and alive. We may have lost the paint cans from previous months but one was back in the ocean and this time still containing residue marine epoxy. We only found out it was still leaking paint when we were already at the surface. Luckily, the unlucky participant was holding his mesh tightly against his body and the paint was just all over his wetsuit. Cheers to our underwater warriors!
More info about this month’s effort can be accessed here.
We had another reason to gather this month and collect some debris – we get to do it wearing funky hood costumes (or at least we were supposed to!). This month’s event was another success thanks to the relatively bigger turnout of divers who were up to dive and gather whatever debris was to be found in our dearly beloved adopted dive site Kontiki Marina.
A total of 13 divers pledged there time to join us for a dive against debris yesterday, October 30, 2016. However, with the bad weather, two weren’t able to join. The afternoon started with people slowly coming in starting at 2PM. We were able to go down and do the dive against debris at 3:28PM. Visibility was bad and the current was a bit strong. Although we only logged a total dive time of 46 minutes, we still managed to pull out a total of 11 lbs. of debris off the waters of Kontiki Marina. This is a very huge development as compared to the dives against debris we’ve made over the past months. Highly notable is the decrease in the volume of glass debris found. For more information about yesterday’s survey, you may click here.
With the early sunset, we were supposed to do our night dive at 5:30PM but the wind picked up and we were forced to have our humble dinner of humba and chopsuey instead. Thankfully, the wind slowed and we were able to do a night dive at around 6:45PM. It was a good night dive. Some were able to see rock lobsters, octopus and what not. We’ll be posting pictures of the event on our facebook page so feel free to check them out or tag yourself.
As usual, our deepest appreciation goes out to the underwater warriors who have joined us in this cause.
Over the weekend we did another survey of our beloved adopted dive site, Kontiki Marina. With a team of only four (4) participants as others were busy with classes and didn’t finish in time [you need to be a certified diver to do a dive against debris!], we still managed to bring to the surface 7kg of debris for a 47 min dive. Still quite a lot. 🙁 Kudos to this wonderful team for the amount of trash we managed to collect despite our sheer number this month.
More about the profile of the garbage we have recovered here.
Next month’s Dive Against Debris will be on October 30, 2016, a Sunday. This being Halloween, we will be holding a late afternoon dive (hood costume dive!) and the best in hood costume as judged by our team of instructors will get a bag of treats. After the late afternoon dive against debris, we will be having a humble dinner on site (humba, rice, chopsuey and soda) and chill a little before we go to our second night dive. Our special rate for the Halloween Dive Against Debris + Dinner + Night Dive is only Php 2,000.00. This booking is not available on the website so please send us a message here if you are interested.
Oh, I forgot, we’re also giving away a mystery gift (something to do with apparel) to all participants. 😀 The fee quoted above includes resort fees, two tanks of air, weights, use of equipment including torch for the night dive, a mystery gift and a chance to win a bag of treats. All you have to do is bring yourself, wear your underwater costume and help us clean our ocean!
Additional notes on the hood costume, please consider safety in coming up with your quirky add-ons. Be mindful of entanglement issues and be considerate to our underwater friends sensitive to flashy items.
August has been such a busy month for us at Dive Funatics we forgot to post the results of our monthly Dive Against Debris and Adopt A Dive Site.
We are very thankful to the participants who managed to pull out 7 kg of underwater debris. Most of the debris collected are plastics, followed by metals and the rest is a mishmash of wood, cloth, paper, rubber and glass materials. The dive covered and area of about 170 square meters and most of the debris was collected in the shallows. For more details about the survey conducted and the kind of debris collected, you may access the link here.
We are happy to report that there was no entangled animal encountered during this dive. There are no more paint cans as well.
We at Dive Funatics are still looking forward to the day when we do a dive against debris and end up with no data to report. Join us in the September Dive Against Debris which we will be holding on the 17th of September. Save the date and book it here.