Why I Am A NAUI Green Diver
Too often I have seen the impacts of trash and human debris on the marine environment. The most appalling instance I can remember happened during a snorkeling trip on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. I came upon this beautiful stand of endangered elkhorn coral while I was snorkeling at a beach called Twin Coves. As I swam around the elkhorn coral, I noticed a tattered black object attached to one of the branches (pictured as my profile picture). Upon further inspection, I found the object to be a black plastic bag wrapped around the coral branch. I removed the bag as carefully as I could and found the underlying coral tissue to be dead. This greatly angered and frustrated me knowing that the coral may suffer as a result of this seemingly inconsequential plastic bag. Endangered species protection for this particular elkhorn coral could not save it from this plastic pollution.
As a result of this trip, I became much more aware of the deleterious affects of plastic pollution on coral reefs. I have since made an effort to collaborate with the non-profit organization 5Gyres to initiate a microplastic beach survey in my hometown of Ventura, CA. This survey will create a long term data set of ocean plastics that wash up on our local beaches and serve to inform best practices for beach cleanups and mitigation efforts.
My name is Eric Dilley and I am a Marine Biology PhD at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. I am a NAUI divemaster and marine community ecologist with particular interest in reef fishes and human impacts in coral reef ecosystems. Most of my 700+ dives have been done under the auspices of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) through the University of California, Santa Barbara and UH Manoa. Through my research experiences, I have had the privilege to dive in many amazing areas including the California Channel Islands, Monterey, French Polynesia, Cozumel, the Bahamas, and Hawai‘i. My goal is to use my skills as a divemaster and knowledge as a marine biologist to expose people to the importance of coral reefs and the amazing creatures that call them home. If you would like to learn more about what I do as a marine biologist, visit my website. Thanks for visiting my Green Diver Page!
Personal Website: www.ericdilley.wordpress.com