A sanitary pad is just one of the unsightly items the Environmental Divers crew found and removed when they conducted their monthly cleanup dive at the Gold Coast Seaway on Sunday October 13.
Karen Anderson from Environmental Divers said "One of the most disrespectful items to be recovered from this beautiful dive site was a disposed of sanitary pad. Not only do pads not break down, they become a lethal food source for turtles and marine life who end up feeding on the polypropylene and gel pearls contained in the pads".
Sanitary pad and wet wipes collected from the ocean floor
After an early start, entering the water at 7am (to be in the water 30 minutes before high tide) the team of dive volunteers headed straight to the long pipe, to remove hooks and fishing line caught in the cunjevoi (or sea squirts as they are also known).
For the dive crew, the highlight of the dive stop-off was swimming with the resident cod near the pipe, as they collected nylon fishing line, hooks and other debris all caught in the cunjevoi.
The resident Seaway Cod hanging with the cleanup divers
Dragging the catch bags with the first collection of rubbish, the divers then headed off to the short pipe. During a previous dive, the team uncovered a huge 3 metre long piece of carpet, buried in the sand. This time, conditions were more favorable to attempt removal and the team spent 20 minutes digging and pulling, before the dumped piece of carpet could be dislodged from the ocean floor and swum back to the steps.
Peter White, President of Environmental Divers said, "Removing the carpet was a huge effort that required team work and a lot of dive experience to get it back to the stairs in one piece. It always amazes me when we find this type of household waste and rubbish that has been deliberately chucked into our waterways."
Using a lift bag to retrieve carpet from the seaway
Dragging the carpet to be weighed, recorded and disposed of.
Peter praised the efforts from the team of divers who spent their Sunday morning helping with the cleanup. "Thanks again to everyone who volunteered for the dive. We are hoping that with public awareness and education, people will become more reluctant to just throw their rubbish and waste into the waterways."
Check the events page on Environmental Divers if you want to get involved with an upcoming event.