Two bikes, a deck chair and a tripod were among a huge pile of rusted waste removed from below Matiatia’s old wharf last week.

Organised by Adam Whatton of Waiheke Dive and Snorkel, a small crew spent several hours scuba diving to remove trash from just a small section of the area’s seafloor.

Whatton and his team have permission from Auckland Transport to continue the clean-up dives over the next few months with a goal to remove waste from the entire area under and between both the old and new wharves.

A significant amount of fishing gear, glass bottles and plastic was also retrieved from the depths on the first clean-up dive last Wednesday, and Whatton says it will take a long time and many dives to cover the entire area.

On subsequent dives, more volunteers will help speed up the process, with scuba divers and people standing on the jetty to retrieve items required.

“We did this dive to celebrate our fourth birthday and we pulled around 215 kilograms of dumped trash from under pier two,” said Whatton.

“We’re grateful to Auckland Transport for helping us arrange this and approving the closure of the jetty for three hours. Also, Jeremy at Clean Island Waiheke for being a legend and sponsoring the removal and disposal of the waste and our volunteer divers and staff.

“There will be many more, very exciting cleanups happening in the new year … watch this space if you’re keen to get involved!” • Sophie Boladeras 

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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