Meeting with the locals at our site in Banilad, we asked them what the biggest problem was in their area. They unanimously said the same thing: garbage, trash, basura.

Not only is there a lack of trash pickup on land, resulting in discarded bottles everywhere, but trash from up the island accumulates along the ocean’s shore. Sadly, the nearby reef can also act as a filter, catching a lot of this garbage.  During our scouting snorkeling trips we ran across many examples of this.

The video below discusses just one instance of how nasty some of these problems can get.

Coral reef net extraction video. Photo by A. Quitmeyer.

A fisherman’s net was discarded right onto a section of reef – choking it, killing fish, and creating a general nuisance. I managed to get a pair of scissors from the locals, cut out a big chunk, and drag it all the way back to shore. Sadly this was just getting rid of one tiny problem in a literal sea of them.

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