Divers and kayakers were in full gear in Holmes Beach on Saturday, ready for a cleanup effort that will help keep marine life safe in the area.
“The west coast of Florida is a beautiful area, and we want to help to keep it that way,” said Project Aware Volunteer Carlos Colon.
The 32 volunteers from all over the Bay area came to Spanish Rocks Reef as part of Project Aware’s Dive Against Debris event.
“We're going to be cleaning up marine debris which is basically trash,” said Colon.
For almost two hours, divers swam about 25 feet down, recovering trash. Once they recovered the trash, they then passed it on to volunteer kayakers who brought it ashore.
Divers only found about an eighth of the amount of trash as last year. However, that’s still about 40 pounds of debris.
“I found a $10 bill, I found a golf ball, a pair of sunglasses, an old cup, some lids," said diver Bob Tetlow. "We got all kinds of good junk in there.”
The safety of marine life depends on getting the debris out of the water, especially during sea turtle nesting season.
“Turtles, they get caught in fishing line and they get caught in various marine debris,” said Daniel Fisher, President and CEO of the Tampa Bay Green Consortium.
The Dive Against Debris event takes place throughout the Bay area. So far they have collected over 10,000 pounds of debris. The organization submits their findings to Project Aware’s annual trash index which has all the trash data from around the world.
The next cleanup spot will be July 12, in Tierra Verde.