A Western Washington woman turns her passion for scuba diving into an opportunity to teach others about the environment.

Laura James is a regular diver near Seattle's Alki beach and believes the waters of Puget Sound contain a dirty secret that most people aren t aware of.

You look on the beach and it doesn't look messy, so you don't think there would be trash under water, she explained.

James says there is a growing patch of pollution near one of the storm drains. She has nicknamed it the monster .

James says it s mostly small, plastic items.

Anything that can end up on the street and make its way down the grates, coffee cup lids, stir straws, she explained.

James says this trash pile on the floor of the Sound is the result of runoff from storm drains. Now, she s using a camera to try and show others the hidden dump site.

I've recorded hundreds of hours of video in Puget Sound; recording both the beautiful and the awful she said.

James works with environmental groups and shares her videos through blogs and websites to teach others about how our trash is impacting marine life.

You start looking around and you realize those animals are living on trash and their habitat is actually garbage, she said. With my camera, I can bring that to the surface and share it with everyone.

She hopes her passion for the problem will make others think about what ends up in the gutter and, eventually, in
Puget Sound.

Read or Share this story: