Friday, October 26, 2007

Marianas Dive Obyan Clean Up

Last Sunday October 21st an even ten litter conscious and dive crazy types descended on the white sandy beach known as Obyan. I’m not sure how it gets its name but it’s pronounced Ob john. I’m not exactly sure how long it is either but it takes at least 15-20 minutes, at a decent pace, to walk it end to end. The backdrop of Tinian and the turquoise blue-green water that separates the two islands is always easy on the eyes. Palm trees provide shade and the odd falling coconut. No really, directly under the trunk of these trees is not a good place to set up your beach chair.

An 8:30 start; ok 8:45 for Morgan, Denise and I. Everyone else was there ready to go. I guess Angelo was right when he said it’s only Lau Lau Bay clean ups where everyone sets their watches back an hour- interesting! A few greetings all around and the crew went to work spanning out both ways from the parking lot. While the 20 month old didn’t cover much ground every little bit helps.

All in all, after an hour or more, we were back in the parking lot commenting on how clean the beach was- yet we still found enough garbage to take up considerable space in the back of Ron’s pick up.
The unanimous feeling from everyone was “what’s with the batteries”. I’ve noticed it whenever I’ve helped out with a clean up at Obyan and so have the others.
Mary, who’s foot is graciously modeling the loot, actually carries a separate bag just for batteries, not a bad idea for everyone to do at all the clean ups. We didn’t get a total battery count as that would have meant dumping out a few garbage bags with diapers in them. No thanks! Rest assured there were way too many of them (batteries and diapers) to call it an odd one or two or an accidental drop.

So we all agreed there is a problem here. A problem of education perhaps? To all of us it seemed pretty simple that batteries and the chemicals they hold just don’t mix well with the environment. Obviously others do not see it that way or just don’t care. We’re all hoping it’s the lack of knowledge because that is easily corrected. If it’s the latter then we’re in trouble.

So, if you happen to read this and know of anyone who discards batteries randomly into the environment let them know that it’s just not cool. The outer casings erode over time releasing the chemicals inside. It may not seem like a lot but given enough batteries over enough time and damage can be done to the shore as well as the marine life. If you need to change a battery, keep the old one and start a recycle box at home. Then, every now and again, take that to the transfer station and dispose of them properly!
Ok, enough with the environmental lesson. After working up a sweat most everyone except me headed out to cool off and look for more garbage underwater.
An hour or more latter they returned with bags half full and stories of another great dive.
Not much garbage….The water was calm and visibility good. We could easily go along the shallows….. There are lots of cool little caves in there….. Ah that was nice and relaxing….. Did you see that scorpion fish, their ugly and he wouldn’t move… I found more clothes….
And of course what dive would be complete without the tailgate chatter, which then lead to the invitation from Mark and Tammy to join them at their place for hot dogs and a swim!
How could anyone resist this face!
Thanks so much to everyone who helped out. Ken, Crystal, Ron, Mary, Tammy, Mark, Denise, Morgan, Susan and even me!
Visit Marianas Dive for more information on upcoming clean ups and events like the underwater pumpkin carving contest!


Ken & Crystal said...

Hey Mike!
Nice write up of our trash collecting day that ended with a relaxing BBQ at Mark and Tammy's "spa"! It was fun =D Cute pic of Brady.

James said...

Great job. please e-mail me if you will be cleaning a beach in the future.

it was great diving with you off of Tinian last Sunday.

about those batteries. They look like the ones used in "waterproof" flashlights that most fishermen use when spearfishing. Too bad there is no way to trace them to the owners. Who knows how much of the bad stuff inside got in our waters so far.