All I remember learning in school about waste was to look for the little arrow triangle to know if something is recyclable and to cut up the plastic rings soda cans came in so dolphins didn’t get them caught on their noses. We didn’t see what washes up on beaches after storms, we didn’t see what gets caught in grasses and other plants, and we didn’t see what people toss astray out of pure laziness and apathy. There was no stress on the true monumental scale of the waste problem, but based on our regular walks on a 2-mile stretch of beach on the relatively remote Hatteras Island 20 years later, it should have been a critical piece of our curriculum.
This post is a contribution from Project AWARE Foundation written by Hannah Pragnell-Raasch, Program Specialist. Project AWARE mobilizes scuba divers to protect the ocean planet one dive at a time. Its Dive Against Debris Specialty Course educates divers on how to remove and log marine debris to prevent its detrimental effects on marine life and advocate for policy and prevention around the world. Hannah takes us through her experience in the course.