ST. CROIX — For about 2 hours on Sunday, 36 SCUBA divers collected trash around the Frederiksted Pier, a popular diving and fishing area, according to the Center for Marine and Environmental Studies. Trash was brought to the surface and given to 10 student volunteers from UVI and St. Croix Educational Complex to analyze. The event was part of a yearly program called Coastweeks.
The students recorded the types and amounts of trash collected by the divers. These numbers will be included in The Ocean Conservancy’s database for the International Coastal Cleanup. The cleanup takes place every year all over the world. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers participate with the goal of increasing awareness about impacts of marine debris. In addition to getting trash out of the marine environment, the community is engaged in activities to better the environment and data are collected on the types of debris present.
The most numerous type of debris found during the Sunday cleanup was beverage cans, plastic cups and plates, and even fishing line. Also abundant were clothing and rope.
“These results are typical of what is found at this site each year. Removing the trash is important to prevent entanglement of divers as well as marine life,” said St. Croix Coordinator for Coastweeks Marcia Taylor.
Adventures in Diving coordinated the diving activities and Ms. Taylor coordinated the students and the analyzing of the trash, according to the release.
The underwater cleanup was just one of many that has and will take place on St. Croix during Sept. and Oct, the release said. The event was supported by VI Waste Management which supplied a trash bin.
For more information on Coastweeks or to plan or join a cleanup, call Marcia Taylor at 692-4046.