Big cleanup operation planned for Santorini’s old harbor

Big cleanup operation planned for Santorini’s old harbor

A recently founded environmental group, Dive in Action, is organizing an ambitious cleanup of the old Fira harbor that once served as the main port for the popular Greek holiday island of Santorini.

Taking advantage of the drop in marine traffic caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the cleanup is scheduled to coincide with World Oceans Day on June 8 and will include the participation of dozens of licensed divers volunteering from local authorities and private organizations.

“It is a unique opportunity. There is usually a lot of traffic in this area all year round and the port authority does not allow diving,” says Dimitris Kambanos, head of Dive in Action, which was founded on the southern Aegean island a year ago.

Kambanos says that the only dives he has conducted in Fira’s harbor is to the wreck of the Sea Diamond, a cruise ship that went down in 2007, and a handful near the coast. “Won’t it be bizarre to find objects from the 1960s on the bottom of the sea?” he wonders.

Kambanos has led other recent cleanup operations in Santorini, including one at Taxiarchis Bay, which led to 300 kilograms of trash being removed from the seabed, and at Ammoudi, where 320 kilograms of waste was cleared.

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