Journey to Ithaka

From devastation to paradise: Epic sea cleanup restores pristine beauty of Greek island with the removal of 76 tons of debris!

In just over a week, a team of 45, most of which volunteers including 20 divers, undertook an unprecedented cleanup removing 76 tons of debris from the sea, coastline, and 4 beaches on the Southwest of Ithaca, an island in Greece famous for being the home of King Odysseus and a universal symbol of home yearning.

After George Lilas, a local diver and passionate environmentalist, publicized photos of an abandoned fish farm wreaking environmental havoc on Ithaca, marine conservation organisation Healthy Seas mobilized all its forces, together with partners Ghost Diving and Enaleia, engaging volunteers, local authorities and sponsors that wanted to help restore the pristine beauty of the area.
This was the biggest project in the history of above organisations in terms of positive environmental impact and community involvement, delivering astounding results in a short amount of time.

The company that had gone bankrupt in 2012 had left behind fish farm cages and other equipment that polluted the area endangering the local community, marine life as well as maritime traffic. In September 2020, Ianos, a rare hurricane-like storm caused the tons of industrial type of plastic pipes, fishing nets, nylon ropes, concrete blocks, plastic buoys, large rusty metal pieces and all kinds of waste to be carried away, later to be found floating on the surface of the sea, laying on the seabed and on the beaches.

  • Michael Westreicher
  • Jenny Ioannou
  • Michael Westreicher
  • Jenny Ioannou
  • Michael Westreicher
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Umweltfilm, Underwater, Nature
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 17, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    0 EUR
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
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Director Biography - Michael Westreicher, Jenny Ioannou

I was born in the early 80s in Tirol, Austria. My first love was music, which is still an important part in my life and also my films. I started the diving career in 2011 while on vacation. Back in Austria, I did a lot of specialty dive education, always taking my action cam with me. In 2015, I started my diving education at Global Underwater Explorers, a leader in the field while I also focused on filming. In 2019 I switched from an action cam to a high quality video cam.
I´m a self-taught filmmaker, first using freeware and later on Adobe software. In my films, music is still the most important creative aspect.

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Director Statement

I´m underwater videographer, editor, director and producer