Dozens of volunteer divers collected 65 pounds of trash near the Redondo Pier on Saturday. Divers pulled out of the water items such as fishing lures, plastics, batteries, automotive parts — and even a traffic cone and a dishwasher door.
The amount cleaned up was smaller than at previous cleanup events at sites such as the Des Moines Marina Pier and Seacrest Ferry Dock, where divers have collected up to 400 pounds of garbage.
“It’s nice when you can pull up a lot, but really any little bit makes a difference,” said Casey Mclean, executive director of SR³, an organizer of the event. “Sixty-five pounds of trash is now out of the ocean,” which helps protect marine wildlife and “prevent microplastics from getting into the fish and into humans.”
It was around last November when Seattle Dive Tours owner Scott Flaherty noted the trash buildup in the popular diving spot and helped organize the event.
“People have been cleaning it on their own [once they noticed the trash buildup], and it’s probably one of the reasons we have less trash to clean up today,” Flaherty said.
Flahery said the fact that divers pick up the trash on their own time goes to show how much people care about the diving spot and marine wildlife.
“Redondo diving site was a relatively clean site, and good news is that we didn’t get much garbage,” Flaherty said after reflecting on the cleanup event. He also said lack of visibility due to algae bloom and the depth people were diving at during the event could have impacted the amount of trash collected.
Even so, Flaherty said these types of events are important in that they bring the local community and diving community together to keep the water clean for everyone. The trash cleanup day was organized by Seattle Dive Tours, SR³ (Sealife Response, Rehabilitation & Research), MaST Center Aquarium, Washington Scuba Alliance, Global Underwater Explorers-Seattle and Eight Diving in Des Moines.
The fourth annual Des Moines Marina Pier underwater trash pick-up event will take place in September in conjunction with International Coastal Cleanup Day. Flaherty is also hoping for another diving cleanup event at Seacrest Ferry Dock in West Seattle this coming winter.