May 2008: SMDI Majors, Minors help preserve Bonaire National Marine Sanctuary through recovery of portions of damaged dock and twenty tires from top photo dive site in the world
This past May, Twenty-two Barry University students brought the good will of Barry university to the island country of Bonaire, Netherland Antilles while participating in the SES 311: Tropical Diving Environments course. Beyond spending five or more hours under water on a daily basis, Sport Management – Diving Industry Majors and Minors made time to take on some community service projects below the water.
The Bonaire coastline has been a marine preserve for the last 25-30 years and this has made it one of the top dive destinations in the world. Naturally, the emerging professionals from Barry University decided to take it upon themselves to remove some debris from some of the most prevalent dive sites on the island.
Among the removed debris were portions of wooden ladders washed away from shore during the last tropical depression to hit the island. Wood for the docks are always used on the island as it is a biodegradable material, but with an object 8 feet long and three feet wide posing a threat to divers, the SMDI students felt it was better to work as a team and recover the materials.
Dee Scarr, a member of the Woman’s Diving Hall of Fame, requested Barry University’s help in cleaning the Twin Pier dive site. Being one of the top photo dive sites in the world does not stop the visiting shops from dumping garbage, debris and other objects overboard. Dee asked Barry University students to help not only in the cleanup of the area, but also in the retrieval of tires that had been dumped overboard. Over twenty tires were recovered and plans have already been made for other reef cleanups when Barry University returns in May of 2009.