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30
Sep

California Coastal Cleanup 2011

Winner of 2011 Coastal Cleanup

Divers Recover Fishing Rods & Reels, Car Bumper, 40 Pounds of Debris from Malibu Pier

Program Strives to Decrease the Amount of Debris that Enters the Water and Educates Others to be more responsible in their waste management.

Los Angeles, CA - September 30, 2011 - During an overcast gloomy morning, scuba divers carefully searched underwater to retrieve trash from an area of the Malibu coast line.  "Retrieve" is not exactly the operative word because divers don't generally put the trash there in the first place nor do they return it to their owners. 

But in this case, one fisherman was lucky enough to get his favorite fishing pole and reel back from a diver within a couple of hours after clumsily dropping it from the Malibu Pier.  John Argiso, a local Malibu resident, joined by other volunteer divers, just happened to be at the right place, at the right time during his dive for the 2011 Coastal Cleanup that took place on September 17 to find that fisherman's lost item.  With that fishing gear, he also found another one as well as a dock sign stating "No Docking or Mooring", a beautiful fish filet knife and other trash that one might expect from visitors to the Pier.  John, who is a regular freediver and responsible underwater hunter was happy to dedicate his time, energy and talent, and donned his scuba gear to be a part of the community service effort that day.

Nearly 11,000 volunteers gathered 22 tons (44,000 pounds) of debris during the 27th Annual Coastal Cleanup Day from 800 sites which broke previous records.  California Coastal Cleanup Day is coordinated in Los Angeles County by Heal the Bay in conjunction with the California Coastal Commission and the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors.  Diving in and cleaning up the local Malibu beaches and waters was teamed up by MSA, Malibu Surf Association and Malibu Divers which attracted local media coverage from Malibu Times and Malibu Surfside News, when a group of more than a twenty Los Angeles-area divers spent their morning removing more than 40 pounds of garbage from the ocean and in the process, bringing up some big surprises.

But how about finding a Garnesha statue, and a woman's shoe? A tin dog tag stamped with a prayer or an old car bumper? Now how did that get there?  A couple of items like marine batteries, and cabling were too heavy to be lifted and removed by divers. These items are the kinds of things lurking below the water's surface and beside the local fish, crabs, sand dollar beds and other marine life. 

"It's was amazing to see hundreds of crabs piled up on top of each other but also sad to find trash along side them, so I'm glad we can help them," said Chris Pierce, who also shot underwater video of his dive.  Many divers don't often get the opportunity to explore their local beaches because of hazardous or challenging surf conditions, but on this day, the surf was cooperating and small.  Even Gabby Watkin, the youngest certified diver at 12 years old, and her mother Suzanne Donovan, easily entered and participated in the cleanup.

Debris affects every living thing from the tiniest life form to marine animals to humans; we all need clean water for life and to continue to exist.  When our coastal waters are harmed, we are all in jeopardy.  As long as there is daily marine pollution, Malibu Divers and its volunteer scuba divers are uniquely able to retrieve pollution from our waters and raise awareness by carrying the message that "clean" water = life.

What is found is just as important as what is not found - in terms of the origin of items and can assist in changing how debris is managed locally. There would be a lot less marine debris if people were more careful with their waste. By sharing with everyone what is seen underwater, you can help drive changes in people's behaviors to reduce, reuse and recycle our way to an ocean free of marine debris.

During the 2-3 hour period, eager and ambitious divers continued to haul more trash.  Even a local surfer joined in to help transport trash on his surfboard collected by the divers who continued to dive.   While the Malibu Pier seems to be one of the worst spots, according to the divers, they were also pleased to see the surrounding underwater area of the adjoining famous Malibu Surfrider beach was relatively clean. 

After all the divers had returned and piled their finds on to the beach tarp, Malibu Divers recorded the items and then awarded prizes for the most unusual items.  The top prize was a Knight Hawk BCD, buoyancy control device, from Scuba Pro which of course went to John Argiso.  Second prize was an Aqua Lung Titan LX regulator to Geoff Walsh, who found a fishing hoop net.  A slideshow of photographs of the event has been posted.  A celebratory lunch was attended at Gladstone's Restaurant who provided lunch specials for volunteers and free meals for kids.

Suppliers of Malibu Divers generously donated the prizes toward all who helped and included: ScubaPro, Aqua Lung, Fourth Element, Trident, Atomic Aquatics, Deep See, Catalina Express, Peace Boat, Diving Unlimited Inc., Stahlsac, Princeton Tec, Divers Alert Network, Sanuk, Jens M. Rubschlanger, Body Glove Sunglasses, and PADI.

Malibu Divers has already committed to sponsor next year's Coastal Cleanup 2012 dive cleanup at Malibu Pier, on Saturday, September 8th, 2012.

MALIBU DIVERS provides scuba diving education, equipment, travel and service. A PADI facility since 1976, MALIBU DIVERS became one of the first PADI 5-Star facilities in 1983, teaching all levels of PADI training exclusively.  Working closely with PADI, they strive to stay on the leading edge of diver training (Five of their Pro's have all participated in the filming of PADI training videos). In 1995 they became a PADI 5-Star IDC (Instructor Development Center) and today they are the only PADI CDC, Career Development Center facility in the entire western USA representing superior management, customer service and training.  They have three Course Directors (Instructor trainers) on staff.  For over 15 years, they have run the scuba programs at Camp Emerald Bay in Catalina with over 2000 boy scouts certified and over 3500 discover scuba diving experiences. Through Company initiatives they have participated in environmental consumer awareness programs, media campaigns and sponsorship of introductory scuba programs. For more information on MALIBU DIVERS programs, visit Malibu Divers. Find local Malibu dive conditions at Malibu Diver's Twitter.

For more information about other upcoming Heal the Bay events, visit the following link:http://www.healthebay.org.

See Full press release

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