Bubbles Below Goes Green for Blue Water's Future
“In the end, we conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” – Baba Dioum, Senegalese Naturalist
Sustainable Diving Practices
We are committed to sustaining the character and the reef residents of our many dive sites. One of the ways to do so was to put in day-use moorings. The owner, Linda Marsh, was the organizer of day-use moorings on Kauai after Hurricane Iniki destroyed so much coral. The first moorings were drilled in 199. However, we do not have moorings everywhere, as that would be obtrusive. If there is no mooring present, it’s either a free descent without a line or we swim down the anchor placing it where it will cause no damage.
Another way in which we show our commitment to sustainable diving practices is by not hitting the same site daily, allowing marine life to relax from the presence of divers. We emphasize and appreciate the natural curiosity of divers and reef residents without chasing behavior.
Lowering Our Footprint
Since we recognize that necessary boat travel to and from dive sites contributes to the overall human carbon footprint, we have tempered some of out “diver effect” by pumping our tanks with a 5kw Photovoltaic system. In the first nine months of operation, we have saved 1,500 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions!
We recognize the need to limit plastics and address this by offering metal water bottles which are refilled when emptied and washed with the power of the sun.
As permaculture does for farming and sustainability for a community, our practices allow divers to encounter marine mammals in an unobtrusive way. We follow in Jane Goodall’s footprints on land with our bubbles underwater.
Conservation & Scientific Diving
Learn how Bubbles Below has played a direct roll in conserving and learning about our beautiful waters and the creatures that inhabit them through moorings and drift dives, historical conservation, and scientific diving studies.
With the two hurricanes hitting 10 years apart, a porthole from the Pele, a shipwreck at the General Store, turned up. Ken Bail secured it to a cement slab after we initially found it. Since then the porthole has been returned as a Historical Monument to the Captain and the shipwrecked Pele, which sunk in a storm on March 22, 1895. Accomplishing this has helped divers to learn and recognize the historical and culturally rich maritime history of Kauai.
Moorings and Drift Dives
After Hurricane Iniki in 1992, Linda had seen enough reef damage to become a founding member of TORCH, which was the organization responsible for bringing in day-use moorings to our dive sites. We were the dive company who organized the initial placement of pins and directives of the State of Hawaii. Bubbles Below still maintains moorings and continues to work with the State of Hawaii in placing more moorings.
Even before Hurricane Iniki, Linda was compelled to “move” down the reef line. Bubbles Below divers of the 80s probably remember our learning curve on how to drift dive safely. There were no standards on it back then. Yep, even safety sausages were a rarity. The advantage of drift diving to the reef is zero disruption of the bottom. We do lots of drifts and will teach you how to enjoy this type of diving safely.
Scientific Diving Studies on Coral
In Hawaii, the Division of Aquatic Resources has been funded by the Federal government to perform ongoing assessments to determine if we are under threat of a snowflake coral takeover, as is evidenced in the above story. Participation in this study has taken us to Kaula Rock, circumnavigating Ni’ihau underwater as well as Lehua Crater and many areas of Kauai.
What is perhaps of great significance is that during our last temperature study, it was found that Kauai is the only island in the main Hawaiian Islands to actually vary in temperature at depths below 200 feet throughout the year. The other islands do not, and Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Oahu are having an invasion of snowflake covering as much as 90% of black coral below the depths of 200 feet, while Kauai does not have this problem. The current belief held by Tony Montgomery (Chairman of DAR – Division of Aquatic Resources) is that carijoa cannot withstand the change in temperature, so in Kauai/Ni’ihau waters during the winter temperatures and at depth the growth rate is greatly mitigated or reversed.
With the State of Hawaii cut-backs, research is dwindled to nonexistent. Fortunately, we still have the University of Hawaii, which has graduate students performing research. We also have the Institute of Marine Biology, which is also associated with the University of Hawaii where important researchers like Greta Abey work.
You can also read about our Black Coral Study by Daniel Wagner here!