GDI and C4OE Continue Planning for Surveying and Clean-Up Project in Tampa Bay 2017


Tampa, Fla., (March 7, 2017) – In partnership with the Center for Open Exploration (C4OE), the NAUI Green Diver Initiative (GDI) has been awarded a Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP) grant to fund a surveying and coastal clean-up project (Gasp-Our Beads of Tampa Bay) in partnership with the Hillsborough 100 Conservation Challenge during the week of April 22, 2017. The Gasp-Our Beads of Tampa Bay event will be held Sunday, April 23 beginning at 9:30am.

C4OE began partnering with GDI several months ago when a brief conversation sparked an idea and generated questions about how the impact of plastic party beads and trinkets linked to Tampa’s Gasparilla Festival, one of the largest events in the Tampa Bay region, might impact coastal waterways.

Back in May, with cooperation from the Tampa Port Authority, Tampa Police Department, USCG and other authorities, GDI and C4OE conducted a survey, by boat, of the Tampa harbor. By using underwater cameras and other tools, the team investigated the amount of festival related plastics and other related debris in the harbor. Data was also collected to determine the water quality, currents and clarity to determine if a Green Diver clean-up event is viable in that area.

The survey was in preparation for a diver clean-up event focused on the impact Gasparilla Festival waste, specifically plastic party beads and trinkets, have on waterways. The official clean-up project will take place Sunday, April 23 beginning at 9:30am, in association with the Hillsborough Water and Soil Conservation Department’s Hillsborough 100 campaign.

‘We are proud to call Hillsborough County home and look forward to continuing to build collaborations within our community,’ said NAUI Executive Director Dallas Edmiston. ‘We hope our project will inspire other NAUI Green Divers to form partnerships in their region.’

A special thanks to the Tampa Bay Estuary Program for their generous support. To learn more about this collaboration and get involved in the Gasp-Our Beads of Tampa Bay surveying and clean-up event, visit or email

You can also connect with us on social media: Facebook and Twitter @C4OE_Explorer and @NAUIGreenDiver.

Support this exciting project by making a U.S. tax-deductible donation today!


Formed in 2010 by the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI Worldwide), in association with the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF), the Green Diver Initiative (GDI) empowers individuals to preserve and conserve our ocean planet. GDI is open to everyone, divers and non-divers with the common goal of taking action to protect the environment. For more information, please contact