Bonaire, June 16

by Barbie Walsh

We had another fantastic dive today at Hamlet Oasis. This was the second time I dove the wall located there; however, it was the first time with a large group, which made this a whole new experience. In order to reach the otherworldly reef, you must perform a tricky entry. First you hobble down six stairs carved into the side of a hill that leads to a rocky beach. A jagged rock outcropping signals your spot of entry into the water. The path along the outcropping is deceptively sandy, but if you lose focus then you will be caught off guard by the occasional rock and may roll your ankle. Fencing you in on your other side is a field of extremely beautiful and painful fire coral. If you are nimble enough to come out unscathed, the last step before you descend is to put on your fins (a simple task), but your hands will brush the fire coral if you aren’t vigilant. My first time making this trek was effortless. Only three others joined me on the dive, so we all had ample room to maneuver.  However, with the increased number of persons on the second dive, there was a notable decrease in space. In order to traverse the difficult trudge, we had to work together as a seamless group. I had to anticipate both Mother Nature’s and the other divers’ next move. Fortunately, our group was victorious in reaching the reef unharmed due to our superior teamwork and Chris’s watchful eye.

I felt the trek mirrored the worlds current relationship with finding a solution to pollution in the ocean. When we met with Carolyn a few days ago to talk with her about her work to solve problem of increasing amounts of trash being found on Bonaire she brought up the issue of finding a centralized system of cataloging trash found. I was confused about what she meant, for I had thought the solution to ending pollution arriving at the worlds shores was simple: recycle and preform trash pick-ups. After today’s dive I understand the importance of having a worldwide accessible data base of where and when trash is found. When different counties and organizations do not work together to solve the problem, we run the risk of causing even more damage. Having an intricate system of well informed and eager organizations and countries overseen by one central group is one way we can begin to solve the ever-growing problem of polluted seas.

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Filed under Service, Student Work, Students

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