Underwater Cleanup at Clifton Gardens

One of the things I’ve learned (or finally got to witness) as a diver is that a large percentage of our waste ends up in our oceans, which damages both the fauna and flora. However, despite how large this problem is, even the smallest of gestures can help. If not us, then who?

So on Sunday morning I headed down to Chowder Bay where I met up with the Frog Dive crew to clean up the area under the Clifton Gardens wharf. Clifton Gardens is one of New South Wales premiere muck diving sites, with incredible macro photography on offer for those willing to put their eyes to the test.

We split up into buddy pairs, and allocated areas to clean. My buddy and I focused on the area inside of the pool, and I was instantly amazed by just how much there was to be seen there – nudibranchs, sea horses, multiple fish species, octopus, cuttlefish, and so much more. But we were there to clean, and clean we did.

The majority of what we found was fishing line attached to the pylons and nets. It was easy to remove, although you do have to be careful not to damage the flora (a knife is massively useful in this regard), or to snag yourself on a hook. Sometimes it’s better to leave a little than cause any damage to yourself or the wildlife.

It’s worth noting that they’ve fixed the holes in the net (mostly), although they left a lot of litter lying around in the process. I found a large number of cable ties strewn on the sand, and then a whole pack of brand new cable ties which I took home for later consumption (who doesn’t love a cable tie).

We also found plastic, a necklace, cans and bottles (which you have to inspect closely for life before removing). One of the divers even found an old 3 legged stool.

After an hour or so in the water we met up on the shore for the mandatory chat and cup of soup. Hopefully this little bit helped. I’ll certainly be back to assist with more cleanups in the future.

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