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Colombians Dive Deeper to End Plastic Pollution

Local Freediving Club Draws Attention to Sea Trash


Baru, Colombia. Felipeortegag/Wikipedia CC BY-SA 4.0
Baru, Colombia. Felipeortegag/Wikipedia CC BY-SA 4.0

A club of Colombian freedivers has found a deeper way of doing their part to reduce plastic pollution in the Caribbean, according to a news report in La Prensa Latina.


A local freediving club in the northern port city of Barranquilla meets from Monday to Friday to dive for trash in shallow pools and then on to deeper waters on weekends, not only to clean up the seabed of their beloved diving zones, but to draw attention to one of Earth’s most pressing environmental problems: marine pollution.


Most of the items the divers bring to the surface are plastic—things like straws, cups, bags, and food wrappers. Freediving is a popular tourist attraction in Colombia’s coastal waters.


In addition to their cleanup work, club members raise awareness on social media and do different activities to reduce the use of single-use plastics. “We’re looking to raise awareness that this is so beautiful (and) must be protected,” said one of the freedivers, Elkin Castro.


Diving for trash is “a way of pushing ourselves,” said another diver, describing their work as a message to their bodies to give back some of the generosity they have received from the sea.


Colombia has several seadiving spots near the major seaport city of Cartagena, the Archipelago of San Bernardo, and Isla Baru, among others, and ranks second among nations for biodiversity. [See The Earth & I, April 2021]


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