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Cozumel...the plastic here and Lobster Charley

Lynne Lubek of Toronto heard the promotion for "Lament of Lobster Charley" which aired on the March 10 Dispatches   She writes...

I had returned the evening before from a 2-week snorkeling/scuba trip to beautiful Cozumel.  Last week I spent a day at Chankanaab National Park, home of various dolphin/manatee/sea lion encounter experiences.  Towards the end of the day I decided to spend an hour swimming in the cove located close to the lovely Chankanaab reef.  I quickly noticed that the water in the cove didn't look right, and closer inspection revealed considerable transparent plastic floating in the water. 

 I talked to a park attendant and he told me that it was always like this:  the plastic was carried in from the ocean on the current.  I spent the next hour skimming and collecting this waste in one of the "Cozumel recycle bags" I had purchased and was profusely thanked by the park attendant for being one of the few visitors who took the time to help clean up.  I filled the bag and stopped because the park was closing.

 The next day, when I walked along the beach beyond my resort's property, I noticed the amount of washed-up AND left-behind garbage strewn along the beach.  Again I did a little research and found out that the beach in question was government land and not maintained at all. 

  When snorkelers and scuba divers pay for their excursions, they pay a $2.00 US fee each time for the privilege of experiencing the magnificence of underwater terrain and life; my understanding is that this $2.00 is used to help keep clean and maintain the reefs as best as possible considering the number of 2-legged air-breathing non-indigenous creatures that invade daily. Perhaps this $2.00 fee could be waived for tourists who collect (recyclable) bags of garbage.  Perhaps more garbage receptacles could be conspicuous on beaches or in parks that will inspire visitors to help clean up or refrain from dumping. 

By the way, as I was cleaning up the water in Chankanaab Park, I found a number of disposable plastic lighters.  Is it possible for CBC television to air the documentary on the plight of albatrosses on Midway Island?  This very graphic and disturbing film might complement "Lobster Charley" and certainly would fit in to the theme of the plight of our planet due to pollution.

                Thank you!   Lynne Lubek 


 

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