Cleaning Bonaire's Beaches

Preview Instead of creating sculptures like this one, volunteers with Debris Free Bonaire collect and throw out trash. As of May 2014, the group has removed more than 5,650 cubic feet of marine plastic from Bonaire's eastern coastline!
(Britta Monaco/Marine Photobank)

Bonaire, a small Caribbean island just north of Venezuela, is routinely ranked as a top diving destination in the world. But there's something getting in the way of beautiful dives: plastic trash. While the western coastline of Bonaire is mostly pristine, lots of plastic debris from other Caribbean islands and South America washes up on the eastern shore after being carried by currents. This creates a trash heap that needs constant work to clean up.

That's where Debris Free Bonaire comes in. Volunteers with Debris Free Bonaire, a local organization started by divers, have removed more than 5,650 cubic feet (160 cubic meters) of marine plastic as of May 2014 using divers and volunteer beach cleanups. Volunteers collect trash and place it in a large shared container to keep track of the amount removed—and every time the container is filled, volunteers are entered into a prize raffle. The project shows how every individual can make a difference. Find out more at their website, and see a slideshow of more success stories in ocean conservation.

Tags: Ocean Trash