Merizo Pier Project returns July 3, needs volunteers
The Merizo Pier Project is calling for volunteers. It's scheduled to resume this July. Tires, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, golf balls, umbrellas, boat pieces, fishing lines, weights, and hooks, were some of the debris cleared out from the waters of Merizo by over 80 volunteers of the Merizo Pier Project a little over a year ago.
The Merizo Pier Project returns on July 3 and is organized by Will Naden of Merizo and his girlfriend Lani Sablan, in collaboration with the Nature Conservancy, Guam Extreme Cleanup Crew and Malesso Mayor's Office.
"The Merizo Pier Project is an annual event that focuses on making sure that the reef around Merizo Pier is kind of tended to because there isn't anybody who's really doing that," Naden said.
"We really need the help so please come on down," he said.
Sablan shared the two goals of the project, which is to change our lifestyles and inspire others to do similar cleanups.
"One is letting everyone in the community see our impact that we're having on the environment when were throwing our trash in the water and were not switching to reusable items. And I think the second one is to also kind of encourage the community to initiate projects like this themselves," she said.
It started back in 2017 after Naden discovered the need for more under water cleaning efforts. He recalled, "Initially it was just like this fun recreational scuba dive me and my sister were going to go on and we realized that the depths beneath the pier actually covered in fishing line and that led me to kind of throw together a few of my friends and my girlfriend and we came with a whole plan to get a whole bunch of divers down to the pier and start removing trash."
About a little over three tons of trash have been removed from the reef surrounding the pier.in the last few years, thanks to this initiative, which occurs both above and below waters.
According to Sablan and Naden, it might be the last time the project will be put together because of positive observations through a recent survey of the area.
"We're seeing that it's a lot cleaner, there is not to much left down there so this year we're just going to clear what's left then see where we are after that," said Sablan.
"The pier during our last survey, we went scuba diving to go check it out and its actually looking really good. There isn't much new trash and the old trash is kind of like coming up from currents moving sediment and showing us the trash that's underneath the surface but as far as new trash is concerned the new trash is really minimal to the last couple of years," added Naden.
He attributes the improvements to the lack of human activity at the pier in the last couple of years because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The project is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 3. Participants, who are divers are asked to bring their scuba gear.
Gloves, mesh bags, and water stations will be provided. Volunteers are asked to bring reusable bottles. Attendees who aren't divers will be placed at the sorting station.
Meanwhile, for the first time a Eco-friendly pop up shop event was organized to support local businesses.
Contact 671-489-1423 for more information.