1 of 7 volunteer for Earth Day 2012 in Palau Kip and Liz
    A male mandarin fish helps us celebrate Earth Day 2012! He's also commemorating National Poetry Month. 

    There may not be a better place in the world to celebrate Earth Day 2012 than the island of Palau. Remote, gorgeous, and surrounded by the deep blue Pacific and some of the most-spectacular fish life on the planet, Palau long-ago established environmental guidelines to protect its reefs and also set up the world’s first shark sanctuary (with much assistance from Pew, Kip’s former employer). Jacques Cousteau would do a jig if he were still alive.

    But like any island country with a busy port, even Palau’s waters can get cluttered with trash and debris. In celebration of Earth Day, a local dive shop, Sam’s Tours, joined with a nearby school to organize a volunteer clean-up of the harbor and surrounding reef. It just so happened they were looking for some extra hands.

    Sam’s generously provided the tanks, dive equipment, snorkel gear, and kayaks for the clean-up. Around 30 students showed up, joining a handful of residents and tourists. Half the kids ventured out in kayaks to clean the water’s edge. Boat owners ferried student snorkelers around to farther areas of the harbor, and we along with Charity, the aptly-named organizer of the event, cleaned up debris below the surface.  And there was a lot of it…

    We even saw some amazing fish while cleaning up!
    A juvenile sweetlips swims under the docks of Palau.
    A big thanks to Charity for organizing the event, as well as to Sam’s Tours for providing the gear, garbage bags, and the dock.

    Happy Earth Day everyone! Get out there and do something good for the planet. The power is yours…

    Photo of Captain Planet not by Liz or Kip

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