Scuba divers start 6-month effort to rid Lake Tahoe of trash

2021-05-15 13:56:32

A scuba diver beneath the surface of Lake Tahoe,
A scuba diver beneath the floor of Lake Tahoe, cleansing up trash.
Picture Credit score: AP

South Lake Tahoe, California: A workforce of scuba divers on Friday accomplished the primary dive of a large, six-month effort to rid the favored Lake Tahoe of fishing rods, tires, aluminum cans, beer bottles and different trash accumulating underwater.

The workforce of between 5 and 10 divers plans to search for trash alongside the whole 72 miles (115 kilometers) of shoreline and dig it out in an endeavor that could possibly be the most important trash cleanup in Lake Tahoe’s historical past, mentioned Colin West, a diver and filmmaker who based Clear Up the Lake, the nonprofit spearheading the challenge.

“We’re nonetheless studying to not be so wasteful. However sadly, as a species we nonetheless are, and there are a whole lot of issues down there,” West mentioned after finishing the primary dive.

The workforce collected about 200 kilos (90 kilograms) of rubbish throughout their one-tank session and located 20 giant or heavy objects, together with buckets crammed with cement and automotive bumpers, that should be retrieved later by a ship with a crane, he mentioned.

They plan to dive three days per week all the way down to 25 ft (7 meters) in depth. The clean-up effort will value $250,000 – cash the nonprofit has collected by way of grants – and can final by way of November.

West began doing seaside cleanups alongside the lake after visiting Belize and seeing seashores there suffering from trash. However in 2018, after a diver good friend informed him he and others had collected 600 kilos (272 kilograms) of rubbish from the waters on Tahoe’s jap shore, he determined to deal with the trash within the water.

“I used to be blown away, and we began researching and going beneath the floor and we saved pulling up trash and extra trash,” mentioned West, who lives in Stateline, Nevada.

In a survey dive on September 2019, his workforce eliminated greater than 300 kilos (136 kilograms) of particles from Lake Tahoe’s jap shore and deliberate to launch his clean-up alongside the entire shoreline final 12 months. The pandemic delayed these plans.

However the group of volunteers, which incorporates not solely divers however assist crew on kayaks, boats and jet skis, continued diving and cleansing each Lake Tahoe and close by Donner Lake. By the tip of the final summer season, that they had collected greater than 4 tons (4 metric tons) of trash from each lakes.

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