Divers fight strong surf, poor visibility in first “Diving for Debris” at Gulf State Park Pier

Baldwin County

GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) –Picking up trash on the beach is one thing, but getting garbage underwater is a lot more difficult. Divers were doing just that at a place people hardly get to explore. Under the surface, divers visually peer through cloudy water. Cleaning up the floor below the pier bit by bit. Eventually, they make their way out of the water, coming to shore with a bag of junk in hand.

“It’s good to clean up the reef. There’s a lot of man-made trash out here, a lot of fishing lures and it’s great for the environment,” said Bryan Eslava with the Down Under Dive Shop. It’s a rare treat to be able to dive around the Gulf State Park Pier. It’s a place where people normally aren’t allowed to swim. Unfortunately, conditions Sunday morning weren’t great.

“It was poor visibility, lot of currents, can’t see anything, couldn’t see like two feet in front of you,” said diver Neal Baum after climbing out of the water. Divers bob in the water. They’re the ones making up most of the more than 30 people who volunteered to get in the gulf around the pier Sunday morning.

“Just to help out, we dive here, we live here and we wanted to help out the community,” said diver Zach Carpenter. Apart from the manmade muck, divers got to see the sea life including abundant stingrays. Divers had to call it off a little early as conditions deteriorated through the morning. Despite the early end they rounded up 30 pounds of trash and hope to have clean-up dives more frequently. This was the first “Diving for Debris” event around Gulf State Park Pier. Folks with the Down Under Dive Shop worked with park officials to put it together.

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