Florida Blue Star Operators, DiveN2Life, Key Dives, and Cristal Clear Charters have removed a huge amount of marine debris after completing their inaugural clean-up dives.
They removed a combined total of 2678 lbs/1,214 kg of marine debris, as well as over 2,800 feet/853 meters of fishing line from various reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
The cleanup dives are part of a larger project – the goal: Clean Seas Florida Keys initiative, a partnership between the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. A significant portion of the debris is displaced and lost fishing gear that was damaged due to Hurricane Irma. It estimated that the hurricane caused the loss of a mind-boggling 154,000 lobster pots and traps which are now marine debris and a cause for concern.
The elimination of this form of marine debris will help stop future damage to many delicate reef organisms, such as staghorn, elkhorn and Boulder Star coral, as well as other animal and marine plant life. Any certified Blue Star Operators can take part in the project and apply for funding for their activities.
Certified Blue Star Operators can apply for funding here.