How it all started
“I’ve always felt lucky I was born in Greece and able to enjoy the sea at every opportunity. I feel at home at sea; I love its wildness, its unpredictability, and its incredible beauty.
Fortunately, I grew up in a family that taught me to use all necessary means to protect it: During our Summer holidays, my parents, my sister, and I we were really frustrated with careless beach visitors who left their litter lying on the sand. I remember spending hours and hours collecting trash; plastic bags, cigarette butts, and bottles.
”Growing up, I felt the need to devote more time and energy to this activity every time I was on a beach, wherever in the world that might be; from Cuba to the Bahamas and the Maldives.
Apart from gathering trash on my own, I started organizing regular coastal cleanups in cooperation with schools and volunteers in Mykonos, where I’ve been living permanently since 2000.
In recent years, I have had the opportunity to expand the range of the cleanups worldwide in places like Bahamas, Mexico, Thailand and many others.”
All For Blue
Organization is the key. All the Shark Awareness & Ocean Conservation Seminars participants, professional divers, and volunteers are responsible for the beach cleanups, whereas Katerina and other professional divers are responsible for the underwater cleanups.
Participants (students, parents, educators, volunteers, and divers) gather at the area for the briefing. The cleanup is done with the use of reusable equipment (gloves, sacs, bags) and special mesh bags.
Either scuba diving or free diving.
Scuba diving for heavy weight trash, such as motorbikes, washing machines etc in deep sea.
Free diving offers us two advantages, freedom of movement and to time restriction.
Certified divers can volunteer in our underwater cleanups.
The following steps occur: Trash and marine debris removing weighing. Careful waste sorting according to different kinds of material (plastic, glass, metal, wood, etc.) with the help of the volunteers and the co-operating Public or Private Organizations. Transportation of trash to special recycling sites recording all the debris removed in an international data base.
The results of the cleanups are saved in the Project Aware database; there is official record of the number of square meters cleaned and garbage collected.
To date, All For Blue team has removed 204 tons / 449.000lbs of trash out of the ocean during organized cleanups, and a countless quantity in the unofficial ones.
By collecting and recording the garbage in the Project Aware database, the participants are now able to become “keepers” of the now cleaned beach and receive a diploma, as a proof of their environmental sensitivity.