PHILIPSBURG–Preparations for the SXM Coastal CleanUp project, to be executed by young St Maarteners between the age of 18 and 34, are in full swing. On Sunday, the first group of participants did their final dives and exam and are now certified as PADI Open Water divers.
PADI Open Water Certification teaches to dive to depths of up to 18 m / 60 feet. After a day of theory, Open Water students got to learn and practice dive skills in the pool before heading out into confined waters for their first ocean dives in Little Bay.
The young St Maarten divers are ready for the SXM Coastal CleanUp
The students practicing their compass skills before heading out to the dive site
After their dive, they log information such as the depth
After their first training, the scuba divers proceed to dive at other sites. The students were able to see the remains of the old Simpson Bay bridge and the hurricane Irma damaged boat JabJab. After being salvaged from the lagoon where the boat originally sank during the hurricane, JabJab was laid to rest by Kidz at Sea and the St Maarten Nature Foundation to become a dive site.
SXM Coastal CleanUp project was set up for young St Maarteners who are interested in cleaning up the coastal waters of St Maarten of both Irma debris as well as everyday human pollution such as single use plastics, bottles and cans that either blow into the water or end up there via drainage ditches. Once their SCUBA training is complete the participants will then be able to volunteer in underwater clean-up dives.
Group 2 will start their training mid-July. Upon completion of this course, some members of the two groups will be selected to continue SCUBA training with the Advanced Open Water Certification, as well as follow up courses Search & Recovery and the Divers Against Debris training.
All updates on the training and also opportunities to participate in one-day ‘Discover Scuba’ try dive events are posted on the social media pages of Kidz at Sea and SXM Coastal CleanUp.
This project was funded by the Government of the Netherlands under the St Maarten Trust Fund, implemented by Resources for Community Resilience (R4CR), administered by VNGI, and overseen by The World Bank.
Bron: Daily Herald