Area divers come out in force to help cleanup Lake StevensHundreds of pounds of garbage collected BY PAM STEVENS | EDITOR Over 50 scuba divers gathered at North Cove dock on Saturday in wet suits and scuba gear. Men and women of all ages joined together to help clean the bottom of Lake Stevens.
“We had been using Wyatt Park for hardhat expeditions and noticed a bunch of trash,” Aaron said.
“You could see the lane to the boat ramp where people had cleaned out their boats,” diver Joe Thomas said. “It was like a highway of trash.”
After gathering garbage that consisted of fishing poles, towels, cell phones, bottles cans, a barbeque and even a toilet, they decided to help clear out even more of the lake.
Many of the divers involved in Saturday’s clean-up do it as part of the PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors)
Project AWARE program whose mission it is to clean up underwater environments.
The divers spread out into three areas: North Cover Park, the downtown dock and the swimming beach on North Lake. Divers came and went throughout the morning and took turns bringing the garbage to the surface in netted garbage bags.
As they reached the surface, volunteers from the Lake Stevens Police Explorers, grabbed the bags and emptied the trash and later separated it into recycling and garbage.
There were seven Explorers, ages 14 to 16 years old helping with the event and most were enjoying being able to be a part of such an important event.
“I thought it would be cool to help clean out the lake,” Jacqueline Barnes, a 14-year-old Explorer said.
Later in the day lift bags were brought to the boat ramp to pull larger items from the bottom of the lake. Those items were then lifted into the Lake Stevens Police boat and taken to dumpsters.
Local businesses helped by providing food and warmth to all of the volunteers.
Steve Iblings, owner of Steve’s Barber Shop provided a heated tent for the divers to warm up in and served the hot dogs and coffee and hot chocolate that were provided by Buzz Inn and Main Street Coffee.
Jay’s Market donated fruit and Twin Quilts and Embroidery made t-shirts for each of the divers.
Tim and Aaron King explained that probably 50 percent of the trash at the bottom of the lake gets there accidentally; however, the other 50 percent is put there intentionally.
Brothers Steve and Chris were unable to attend the event. Steve was running the dive shop while Chris is serving in Iraq.