Dive into Earth Day - by Dan Ellison - Green Reef

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 15            April 12, 2001

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Fed up with garbage? Dive into Earth Day on the 22nd of April with Green Reef - San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

    Thousands of divers and marine enthusiasts all over the world are celebrating Earth Day 2001 with a splash. Marine environmental groups are teaming up with the scuba diving industry, divers, snorkelers and other aquatic enthusiasts, to gear-up and Dive In To Earth Day. Dive In To Earth Day, held April 15-22, 2001, is a world-wide event aiming to remind the public that over 70% of the planet is covered by water and holds abundant and vital natural resources that need to be protected. Most Earth Day activities take place on land which is why it is so important to get as many people in the water, supporting a unified Dive In message: "It's called Earth Day. That's not to say we need to treat it like Dirt Day." Participants all over the world take an active part on a local level by participating in Dive In activities designed to protect our oceans, coral reefs, beaches and lakes. James Cameron, director of Titanic, and Peter Benchley, author of Jaws, have expressed their support for Dive In and are members of its Honorary Committee. Here in San Pedro, Green Reef is joining this international event by organizing a Shoreline Clean Up. Meeting at 9 a.m., Sunday the 22nd of April by the Manatee in Central Park, volunteers have the choice of snorkeling or walking for rubbish. Bring a snorkel and mask to help Jill Hepp clean up underwater areas by the docks. As an alternative, team up with Dan Ellison bagging trash north of the river cut.

    Earth Day, held annually April 22nd, is celebrating its 31st anniversary this year. Last year, the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) created and coordinated the first ever Dive In To Earth Day event, which drew over 4,600 participants with activities taking place in more than 30 countries. Several non-profit groups co-sponsored the event and have already signed up to support the second Dive In To Earth Day. They include the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI) AWARE Foundation, the Dive Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA), Reef Check, Center for Marine Conservation, Earth Day Network and the Hammerheads. Rodale's Scuba Diving Magazine, Exotic CafÈ Beach Resort, Seaview Hotel & Dive Resort and Bob Soto's Diving, Dive Experience, Ultralight Control Systems and Dive Gear, Inc. are Dive In corporate sponsors. For more information about the Ambergris Shoreline Clean Up, contact Dan at greenreef@smu.edu.bz or call 026-3254, ext. 243. For more information about Dive In To Earth Day, visit  http://divein.coralreefalliance.org.

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