When the Narcosis Scuba Center takes a boat of divers out into the Gulf of Mexico, a “look, don’t touch” policy is strictly enforced. To preserve marine ecosystems, the Tarpon Springs, Fla., shop permits nothing to be removed and brought back on board. Nothing, that is, except garbage.
The World Resources Institute reported more than 60 percent of the world’s reefs are currently under immediate threat from human activities. To help reverse human impact, those in the dive community are taking initiative to prove local efforts towards reef recovery can make a difference.
The scuba center is involved in the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest volunteer effort for healthy oceans, owner Joyce Hannaseck said. Every year, she said, the shop sends at least 20 volunteers to help clean the reefs and wrecks, as well as the beach and shoreline.
“We focus on anything associated with the waterways,” Hannaseck said.
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