These volunteers are cleaning Acapulco's seabed
They have one mission: Tackling the pollution surrounding beaches. Meet the "Voluntary Ecology Divers" of Acapulco, Mexico.
Acapulco is one of the most visited areas in the country. But its beaches are incredibly polluted, with some exceeding the bacterial limit by over 1,800%. Tourists also play a part, because when they consume things made out of Styrofoam, cups, beers, they don’t bother picking them up from where they are hanging out with their families. They go home and leave their garbage and then it is taken by the wind into the sea according to the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks.
“I think the most effective way to make people aware is to go to the clean-ups, see the damage the waste is causing to marine organisms. This way will have the most impact in making sure they understand how their waste has an impact. Especially here in Acapulco, where we live off of tourism, if we continue to pollute our sea, we will have nothing to offer. Their mission really is a huge social challenge. We feel the most powerless as ecology divers when we see that after a rainstorm, the sea gets completely filthy again, with a lot of floating waste, and this is when we sometimes feel, “Come on, we’re trying to keep our home clean, our surroundings, our source of employment, and people are just not helping us”. I really hope our part in marine cleaning inspires people to look at the damage they are doing and then change the way they consume and their waste-dumping habits. At the end of the day it’s down to everyone,” states José Juan Cejudo Flores - Founder, Buzos Ecólogos Voluntarios de Acapulco.
The group removes an average of 200 to 400 kilograms of waste every time it runs a clean-up campaign. With regards to what sort of waste, we’ve found PET (plastic), braziers, tires, car batteries, glass bottles, many pieces of fiberglass, wood and well, all the waste which should be far away from the sea, has been found on the seabed. The waste which causes the most damage to the seabed, apart from microplastics, are cigarette butts, and also the fuel used on boats, oil, diesel, petrol, this is the type of waste which really contaminates the seabed.