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View Full Version : Garbage and the Litter Bugs



scootermcfly
08-26-2007, 08:35
I'm a relatively new diver (cert in early June) and I have noticed that there seems to be a fair amount of garbage at certain sites where there is easy public access. Now, I can understand if something accidentally blows into the water if I am at the beach, but what I don't understand is when people intentionally throw stuff over the side of their boat.

I was on a dive yesterday with my oldest teenager and we were coming back up to the shore next to some floating docks about 30 feet away where there was a boat full of people preparing to depart for the day. I watched as one of the teens on the boat ate a piece of candy and then threw the wrapper overboard, and the parents/adults didnít say a thing. Luckily, breeze was blowing towards us and I was able to retrieve the wrapper since it was still floating. Is it me, or are people really that inconsiderate these days? I was going to return the garbage to them, but they had left by the time that I hit the shore.

Now, on most dives, I have become a fan of trying to pick up at least one thing on my way back to shore, just to try to clean up the area a little bit. Even my family has figured that if they just got one piece, whether it be a beer can, Styrofoam cup, anything small and easy to carry, it will make the dive site that much more appealing to people after us. Most of the sites here in upstate NY that I frequent are beach access, so it makes it easier for carrying out some garbage.

So, what I would like to know is what everyone else does for garbage that they find and any interesting stories that are out there. I am not an environmental activist or anything, just trying to keep the local underwater sites looking good for fellow divers.

Scooter McFly

FishFood
08-26-2007, 08:41
That crap steams me.

A local(ish) spring I go to is full of rednecks in the summer. You can tell where they fish, because there will be PILES of beer cans on the bottom. PILES!!! How dumb do you have to be?

Another place I go to, there's a 12ft long piece of rolled up carpet. And this is in the ocean. HOw does that happen??

Maybe we should all carry a spear gun with us... ;)

Texas Girl
08-26-2007, 09:17
If we find trash while diving we will always try and pick it up. We do the same thing at a park or the beach, pick up just a little.

mwhities
08-26-2007, 09:26
When I do shore dives, I most usually always carry a goodie bag with me. I did a dive at Pensacola Beach Pier (the old one) and I filled up a bag in no time. Almost a 12 pack of beer cans, a few broken sun glasses and several different bags of sort.

Michael

BuzzGA
08-26-2007, 10:24
I have a mesh bag in the pocket of my BCD and use that to hold all the trash I find on the bottom. I know that bringing back a couple of beer cans may not clean the whole site up but I figure it helps. The other thing I hate are those big balls of fishing line...

mwhities
08-26-2007, 10:27
I have a mesh bag in the pocket of my BCD and use that to hold all the trash I find on the bottom. I know that bringing back a couple of beer cans may not clean the whole site up but I figure it helps. The other thing I hate are those big balls of fishing line...

Any little bit does help. "Your vote counts!" Same idea. ;) Be extra careful with the fishing line.

Michael

Jaymeany
08-26-2007, 10:27
If everyone grabs a few things each time they are down it not only cleans the area but brings awareness to people on your exit. If they see you with a bag of garbage they might not let that can fly away. out of sight out of mind. They see you pull a full bag and they realize it adds up down there. Maybe you will influence other divers too. Just don't put it in a BC pocket and forget about it! :smiley36:

scootermcfly
08-26-2007, 10:48
It's great to hear that there are people that do bring stuff back with them if they can, and every little bit does help. I know that I don't want to dive among a lot of garbage any more than any other diver.

And as for the fishing line, that is always a challenge. I found a ball of that once and unzippered my wetsuit and stuck it in there for the remainder of the dive instead of trying to keep track of it in my goodie bag.

Scooter McFly

gtjason2000
08-26-2007, 11:14
i usually fill up my roll down bag in my brigade with a couple things. I really should take a larger grab bag because I usually can only grab one plastic bottle. The wife and I plan to go to trashfest in new braunfels and clean up the comal where all the tubers dump their beer cans.

JahJahwarrior
08-26-2007, 15:58
Some guys were complaining that they don't like to div eone local free spring because it's got lots of garbage.....

Ever hear of the difference between a thermometer and a thermostat? Thermoeter tells what the temperature is, thermostat can change it. Lets be thermostats!

So I went there with a buddy just to haul out trash. We brought out about 20 pounds of beer cans, bottles, sunglasses, etc. Also, about 100 pounds of cinderblocks and bricks.


Granted, we accidentily started removing some 5 gallon buckets filled with conrete before realizing they were there to hold down a sunked platform....one or two had brken free so we assumed they were all trash and removed another one before we realized they were tied to the platform with very short ropes....then we realized what was up and felt stupid. You should have seen the hand signals!

TAH 73
08-26-2007, 17:30
Did a weekend of ice dives ONCE, we went in using an ice hut for shelter, we were under the ice touring around and happened to end up under another fish hut, this one inhabited by fishermen, swimming by the opening we saw a bottle dropping down through the hole, purposely sunk to the bottom. we carefully assessed the current grabbed the bottle off the bottom, came up to the side of the hole in the ice and carefully reached up only exposing an arm placing the bottle back up on the floor of the fish hut. I would have given anything to see their faces.

DivingsInMyBlood
08-26-2007, 17:43
today on one of my open water dives my instructor found a hash pipe.

terrillja
08-26-2007, 18:59
When I dive in the lake I live on, my dad and I both go with mesh bags. So far we have collected 20' of 3/8" SS cable, 200' of 1/6" SS cable, over 30 beer bottles, over a dozen liquor bottles, a mushroom anchor, random chains, a tire, and other random crap that we can't determine what it is. How a tire makes it into the lake without a rim...

Anyways, I have to be happy that one bottle was dumped in the lake, a bottle made in 1920. Otherwise, the hundreds of beer cans that i have recovered, keep it and recycle it. I can tell you that a Budweiser can's red color turns yellow after about 2 years, based on the hundreds I have now collected, and there will certainly be more down there next year.

terrillja
08-26-2007, 19:05
I actually had a really weird one a few weeks ago, while diving on a small boat wreck, I noticed a smallmouth bass that seemed to be hung up, it would try to swim away but its head would jerk back. Upon closer inspection, the fish had been hooked, then the line became entangled in the wreck. The fish had swallowed the hook, and there was no way I could get it out, but I was able to cut the line close to its mouth, releasing it. I then got all the fishing line off the wreck, making sure a wreck I love to dive is safe for future dives.

Jaymeany
08-26-2007, 19:48
Did a weekend of ice dives ONCE, we went in using an ice hut for shelter, we were under the ice touring around and happened to end up under another fish hut, this one inhabited by fishermen, swimming by the opening we saw a bottle dropping down through the hole, purposely sunk to the bottom. we carefully assessed the current grabbed the bottle off the bottom, came up to the side of the hole in the ice and carefully reached up only exposing an arm placing the bottle back up on the floor of the fish hut. I would have given anything to see their faces.

That is great!!

terrillja
08-26-2007, 19:58
Did a weekend of ice dives ONCE, we went in using an ice hut for shelter, we were under the ice touring around and happened to end up under another fish hut, this one inhabited by fishermen, swimming by the opening we saw a bottle dropping down through the hole, purposely sunk to the bottom. we carefully assessed the current grabbed the bottle off the bottom, came up to the side of the hole in the ice and carefully reached up only exposing an arm placing the bottle back up on the floor of the fish hut. I would have given anything to see their faces.

I would have tied the line to the bottle, then yanked on the line a few times, it would probably cause an interesting reaction once they pulled it up....

scootermcfly
08-26-2007, 20:48
Did a weekend of ice dives ONCE, we went in using an ice hut for shelter, we were under the ice touring around and happened to end up under another fish hut, this one inhabited by fishermen, swimming by the opening we saw a bottle dropping down through the hole, purposely sunk to the bottom. we carefully assessed the current grabbed the bottle off the bottom, came up to the side of the hole in the ice and carefully reached up only exposing an arm placing the bottle back up on the floor of the fish hut. I would have given anything to see their faces.

That is just priceless, I can only imagine the reaction and look on someones face when a arm reaches up through the ice.

Cost of six pack of beer - 8.99
Cost of fishing gear - 80.00
Cost of ice fishing shanty - ~ 200
Cost of being scared out of your mind after you litter and a scuba diver returns your empty beer bottle through the hole in the ice - Priceless

Scooter McFly

wxboy911
08-27-2007, 07:08
I have done some clean up on my way back in but I continue to be frustrated by people that don't care. I like the idea of giving the trash back via the fishing line or hole in the ice but I won't. Thinking about it is fun enough.

cgvmer
08-27-2007, 07:18
Last dive in St Thomas, the DM found a pretty big anchor it was wrapped around what appeared to be a stainless steel sink frame. He left the sink, attached a lift bag to the anchor and took it with him.

Osprey
08-27-2007, 12:32
I'm glad to see people picking up the mess down there, there sure is a lot of garbage floating around (killing the wildlife.. you know, that old nut). I think it's beneficial to bring what litter you find to the surface, especially if you're diving with a group. It could really open people's eyes and convince them to follow your lead. After all, who wants to see plastic bag fields instead of expanses of coral reef?

scootermcfly
08-28-2007, 06:32
So, has anyone ever had a "clean up day" where they get a large group of people and try to clean up a specific area? It's too bad that something couldn't be scheduled that was once per year where everyone would try to do something.

Scooter McFly

ianr33
08-28-2007, 07:00
So, has anyone ever had a "clean up day" where they get a large group of people and try to clean up a specific area? It's too bad that something couldn't be scheduled that was once per year where everyone would try to do something.

Scooter McFly

'Tis an annual event here

http://www.keepaustinbeautiful.org/page.php?p_page_child_id=192

An excuse for a party with a good cause

Disneymom
08-28-2007, 08:59
Did a weekend of ice dives ONCE, we went in using an ice hut for shelter, we were under the ice touring around and happened to end up under another fish hut, this one inhabited by fishermen, swimming by the opening we saw a bottle dropping down through the hole, purposely sunk to the bottom. we carefully assessed the current grabbed the bottle off the bottom, came up to the side of the hole in the ice and carefully reached up only exposing an arm placing the bottle back up on the floor of the fish hut. I would have given anything to see their faces. That is just great!!!

I've been noticing the trash more now that I'm more comfortable and confident when diving. I'm going to have to get one of those bags so that I can pick up when I dive, because I hate seeing it. In response to your question, Scooter, about society and being inconsiderate - I think that to a degree, they are more so, and there's more parents, like you saw, who don't care what their kids do. Those like us, who willingly clean up after them can only keep it up and hope the 'thermostat' mentality spreads.

greyzen
08-28-2007, 09:04
So, has anyone ever had a "clean up day" where they get a large group of people and try to clean up a specific area? It's too bad that something couldn't be scheduled that was once per year where everyone would try to do something.

Scooter McFly

'Tis an annual event here

http://www.keepaustinbeautiful.org/page.php?p_page_child_id=192

An excuse for a party with a good cause

Doing on the 9th of Sept. this year
http://tomsscuba.com/dives/cleanup.html

Ian, if you are a braver man than I, I heard Hippie Hollow has 18 spots left to sign up for :D

Charlotte Smith
08-28-2007, 09:05
I pick up trash too and I am surprised at the bait and lures that fisherman throw in the lakes where we dive.....I get several worms about 10-12 inches long and made of rubber everytime I dive....just watch out for the hooks!