After meeting up with the infamous John ‘Caveman’ Gray of John Gray Sea Canoes it became evident that both Super Divers and John Gray’s passion for the environment was second to none.
Whilst we advocate the importance of our oceans and the eco-system, John Gray and his team are educating the next generation of students from the Prince of Songkla University by inviting 60 of them to help clean up the beaches located on the small islands in Phang Nga province. The majority of these students had never been out to the islands even though they had lived only an hour away from them, their whole lives.
Mr. John kindly invited the Super Divers Team to join their annual beach clean-up day so we would be able to see for ourselves what is washed up on these idyllic beaches from our oceans. Jon Walsh, Senior Instructor and Lisa Walsh, Marketing Manager joined the cleanup for the day. Our findings were somewhat incredible, with at least 50 bags of debris collected from island one alone. Shoes, phone chargers, glass bottles, plastic bottles, plastic bags, polystyrene foam, fishing nets and much, much, more. Shocking to say the least.
Photo above: Beach Cleanup with John Gray Sea Canoe & Prince of Songkla University Students – Photo credit – Rick Kramer (PSU)
The rubbish collected was taken to one of the boats hired for the day so we could take it back to the pier and it be disposed of properly so to never appear in our oceans again.
There are some sobering facts in the recent article by Melissa Breyer, Managing Editor at Treehugger about the astonishing amount of plastic we use in our everyday lives. Did you know that eight million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year? No? Me neither. That fact alone got me thinking how small changes can make a whole difference. Melissa’s article 10 plastic items you can give up right now certainly gives food for thought, do you really need that straw?
Above: Beach Cleanup with John Gray Sea Canoe and the Prince of Songkla University Students.
Having time to reflect on the day, I feel sad that we are so uneducated about disposing of our rubbish in the appropriate manner but also feel amazing that we made a difference in just one day. We have formed a strong relationship with Mr. John and his inspiring team to continue our work together in the form of joint cleanups in the future – John Gray Sea Canoe clean above the water whilst Super Divers raise awareness through PADI’s affiliated partner Project Aware’s ‘Dive Against Debris®’program below the water. Now, that just is a Super team!