Carriacou SCUBA diving businesses implemented an extensive coastal clean-up project that removed several tons of sunken rubbish from the ports of Hillsborough and Tyrell Bay, and cleared the shores and shallows of undeveloped White Island.
Working together, local SCUBA shops Arawak Divers, Carriacou Silver Diving, and Lumbadive mustered a team of fifteen divers plus a dozen shore-side helpers. The volunteer posse consisted of Kayaks, plus foreign residents and cruisers hailing from America, Britain, Canada, Italy and Germany. The task-force’s multi-national constitution was serendipitous, as the beautification project marked Carriacou’s annual participation in The Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup—the largest world-wide volunteer event of its kind, involving hundreds of thousands of people in 118 countries in 2006. Carriacou SCUBA shops have participated in this massive annual clean-up effort since 1993.
This year’s Carriacou task-force began at the commercial dock in Tyrell Bay. Divers scoured the 10 – 25-foot deep sea floor and dragged rubbish dockside, where "dry" team members hauled it to a dump-truck. Volunteers recorded specific types of marine debris collected – rusted batteries, car parts, tires, strapping bands, paint cans, pipes, clothing, umbrellas, biscuit tins… even a broken wheelchair. The Ocean Conservancy compiles and tracks this data year-by-year with a view to educating the local public, businesses and government about the problem – and prevention – of marine pollution.
Carriacou’s participation in the Coastal Cleanup was deemed a success by Max Nagel, owner of Carriacou Silver Diving, and a founding member and former president of the Grenada SCUBA Diving Association. Mr. Nagel is also a founding member and vice president of the Carriacou and Petit Martinique Tourism Association. "This year marked the first joint clean-up venture between Carriacou’s SCUBA shops, and involved the highest number of volunteer divers and cruisers. We are all very pleased with the outcome, as it directly benefits Carriacou’s aquatic environment as well as its yachting and eco-tourism industries," he said.
Georg Schmitt, owner of Arawak Divers, Tyrell Bay’s original SCUBA shop agreed. "Carriacou is graced with some of the most magnificent reefs and abundant fish life in the Caribbean," he said. "Reducing pollution to preserve the excellent health of our underwater paradise is in everyone’s best interest."