Diving Industry Majors Bring the Barry University Mission to Bonaire, Netherland Antilles
Between the 8th and the 22nd of May 2009, sixteen Barry University students brought the Barry University Mission to life while participating in the university run SES 311: Tropical Diving Environments course held in the island country of Bonaire. Above and beyond spending five or more hours under water on a daily basis, Sport Management – Diving Industry Majors and Minors made time to take on three very distinct community service projects above and below the water.
While staying at Habitat Dive Resort, SMDI members noticed the amount of debris which had been pushed into the water after Hurricane Omar in October of 2008. With the help and support of the resort, debris was mapped out and recovered over the course of four dives. Moreover, there was a great deal of underwater cosmetic work that needed to be done.
The cleaning did not end at the resort as the students made their way over to the Town Pier, one of the most coveted underwater photography dive spots in the world. The group, accompanied by the International Woman Divers Hall of Fame member Dee Scarr collected bottles, fishing line, clothing, cardboard, and over 25 "C" and "D" batteries, while a report was filed with local government officials on the effect the hurricane had on the site.
At the request of the local Parent/Teacher Association, Barry students then made their way to a local high school in need of a fresh coat of paint. Three classrooms were painted. This was in an attempt to help those classrooms make a transition from housing high school aged students to nine and ten year olds.
Everyone involved with these community service projects agreed these experiences not only enriched the educational experiences of those involved but also had a strong impact on the local community and are already looking for more projects during the next Tropical Diving Environments course in May 2010.