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McIvor Lake’s not-so-pretty underside

Connor Jones, 13, heads to the surface of McIvor Lake with a dive bag full of empty cans, bottles and golf balls he collected from the bottom during Saturday’s underwater clean-up. - Eiko Jones/Special to the Mirror
Connor Jones, 13, heads to the surface of McIvor Lake with a dive bag full of empty cans, bottles and golf balls he collected from the bottom during Saturday’s underwater clean-up.
— image credit: Eiko Jones/Special to the Mirror

Out of all the underwater cleanups that have taken place across the country, guess where the most garbage was found?

If you picked Campbell River’s McIvor Lake, you win an old beer can!

Over the last four months, Canadive has organized shoreline and underwater cleanups across Canada.

Saturday was Campbell River’s turn as the national organization turned to a local business, Beaver Aquatics, to organize the clean-up.

A dozen people in wetsuits and dive gear took the plunge in the picturesque lake which isn’t so pretty in certain areas below the surface.

The divers focused on the main public beach, Doggie Point and the boat ramp. In past years, local divers have done their own underwater cleanups at McIvor and rid the lake of tons of trash and debris, a lot of it near the main swimming beach.

On Saturday though, two-thirds of the 484 pounds of garbage collected came from Doggie Point.

“When it was all over we had 159 golf balls, 679 aluminum cans and 414 glass bottles,” says Charlotte Rydlund, the founder of Canadive. “By weight, it was the most trash we collected anywhere.”

The Canadive expedition has travelled more than 10,000 kilometres coast to coast. The expedition has joined forces with local divers in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C., and has collected more than 1,300 pounds of debris prior to the McIvor Lake cleanup.

 

Logging Road Cleanup

 

In a different weekend cleanup, the Society of Island Forest Stewards (formerly known as Shame the Logging Road Dumpers) were ridding the city of another illegal dump site.

This time the group was on Argonaut Road where they collected 19,378 pounds of garbage in two days.

“I want to say to all who helped this weekend, thank-you,” said organizer Bud Logan on the group’s Facebook site. “It was cold and wet, and the work was hard today, but you guys were there for me, for Vancouver Island – I tip my hat to all of you.”

The ad hoc group just started cleaning up illegal dumping grounds a few months ago. So far, they’ve collected and disposed of more than 79,000 pounds of trash.

And if that wasn’t enough, Logan and a few other helpers continued their cleanup on Monday on a road near McIvor Lake, and got rid of another 170 pounds of garbage.

There’s still more out there. The group is always seeking volunteers and they also want to educate the public about what they’re finding.

“One thing that really struck me this weekend was the shocking amount of plastic refuse, in the form of plastic bags, food wrappers, food containers, paint, solvent and petroleum containers, and various consumer and industrial products,” wrote volunteer David Baar.

“The group has a lot to deal with now – just doing cleanups – but maybe in future we can take on education efforts and other efforts towards the goal of locally reducing non-biodegradable plastic packaging, and other waste reduction via reduced packaging and other means.”

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