Canada Day Cleanup 2016 & September 18th Cleanup
There was a light drizzle and dark skies flew overhead of the dive site, DDS divers had a happy Canada Day this year. Eventually though, the dark overcast clouds made way to bright and beautiful weather for the great group of scuba divers who participated in the annual DDS Canada Cleanup Dive Against Debris, which was hosted by Dan’s Dive Shop of St. Catharines, ON.
This year the team decided to clean up the underwater section of the Welland Swing Bridge, as well as topside along the canal bank. and a beaver dam that was interwoven with bleach bottles, construction foam, socks, plastic bottles and cans all throughout the wooden home of this local area resident.
Scuba diving is a beloved leisure activity that is conducted virtually anywhere it is safe to dive and explore, and divers are often times very protective of the earth and its resources, animals and countryside, which is why it was so great to see another amazing group of volunteers show their support for the environment on their day off.
For those curious about what was removed from the dive site, the divers removed a pair of smart phones, lawn chairs, an entire garbage bag of random clothing items including shirts, hats, boxer shorts, sweaters, underwear, jackets and more. An entire garbage bag was filled of items just from the beaver dam, with other bags being filled of just plastic bottles and plastic cups, another of soft drink and alcohol cans, glass wine bottles, beer bottles, fishing lures, electronic equipment, bicycle handle bars, antique bottles, an entire garbage bag of old plastic bags, strings of Christmas lights, bits of an artificial Christmas tree, plumbing supplies, toilet seats, aerosol cans, a wall safe and many other odds and ends.
“It’s bittersweet conducting a cleanup because you feel good about yourself, but also frustrated with the naivety or outright selfish
nature of some people who carelessly or intentionally dump their trash where so many people splash.” – Matt Mandziuk owner of Dan’s Dive Shop, Inc.
Mandziuk also concedes that “On any given day in the summer you see children swimming, dogs playing, people wading in the Old Canal and if they only knew how much trash was tossed into their playground, they’d likely feel uneasy swimming in an underwater garbage dump.”
The scuba divers hoisted out hundreds of pounds of garbage and this is just from an isolated spot in the Old Welland Canal, where they then had to separate, document and then weigh the different types of garbage found.Divers participate in the Canada Day Cleanup yearly and have cleaned up locations between Lincoln Street Bridge to the Swing Bridge, as well as Sherkston Quarry and continue to make their way around the area doing their part for the environment, but when you see bags and bags of trash being hauled out of these small isolated areas, it makes you wonder what lies throughout the rest of the lakes and oceans.
Dan’s Dive Shop hosts this event yearly, with other cleanup initiatives offered on other dates as well, as the Dive Against Debris title is one coined by a not for profit
environmental agency called Project AWARE, which is backed by the worlds largest scuba diving training agency, PADI, the Professional Association of DivingInstructors, for whom Dan’s is the oldest training facility in Canada and about the 3rd oldest now worldwide
This year dive patron Barbara B. took the initiative to have a meeting with Walker Industries, who happily agreed to accept our garbage and recycling free of charge as a debt of gratitude for the dive communities hard work and environmental awareness.
As Canadians we are very fortunate to have such a beautiful country, with so much open space, fresh water, clean air, however, if we continue to take for granted that these resources will always be there for us and we don’t change our environmental habits, continue to litter, over consume, over pollute, overuse our natural resources as so many people do, it can ruin this beautiful country just like so many other countries populations have done to their own lands.
As a country everyone should be reminded that fresh water only stays fresh by keeping it clean, that the air only stays fresh by making sure we reduce the amount of combustable chemicals we put in atmosphere and that we replenish the trees and oxygen giving plants that we cut down to make way for new shopping malls and communities.
Do your part to keep your country beautiful.
On September 18th, DDS Divers and the Welland 9th Regiment Scouts participated in another clean up dive in Welland where another truck bed full of garbage was removed from the Welland Recreational Waterway.