Taking out the Trash: A Scuba Clean Up in North Bay

The North Bay Scuba Club tackle their 18th Annual Marina Clean Up

Sometimes it’s not enough to wait for change to happen, you need to take matters into your own hands and be the change you want to see when it comes to the environment.

Yesterday, while most people where at home celebrating Mother’s Day with their families, a handful of brave souls donned dive gear and took to the water – these people are dedicated members and family of the North Bay Scuba Club, their mission – greet the new diving season with their annual club marina clean up.

Helping Out With The Scuba Diving North Bay Harbour Clean Up, Ontario, Canadian Scuba Diving

No matter the size, litter not only poses a hazard for boaters, but also for the local fauna of Lake Nipissing. Fish, turtles, birds, even your family pet who wants to take a swim… No animal is immune to trash entanglement or ingestion.

The sad thing is that there is no such thing as a clean lake anymore. Even for residents of Northern Ontario, who to this point have lived a pretty sheltered life, untainted by the masses of pollution and garbage, we are starting to see junk in our waterways. As a fish and wildlife student at Fleming College, I have spent the past few years doing courses, fieldwork and research projects in wetlands, rivers, and lakes. They are changing, and it scares me.”

— Nadine Perron, Fleming College Student

The cleanup crew was made up of a combination divers and dock volunteers, who spent the better part of the morning recovering junk in this labor of love for the community of North Bay.

Mosaic Of The North Bay Scuba Clean Up In The Waterfront Harbour, Ontario, Canadian Scuba Diving

In the past, strange and extraordinary amounts of trash have been found in the North Bay Marina. Everything from barbecues, lawn chairs, cell phones, kitchen utensils, bottles, cups, clothing, boat tops, eyeglasses, pylons, fishing rods, etc. You can almost let your imagination run wild.

[I]t just goes to show you that sure some people have accidents and things fall into the water, but it also shows that some boaters are very careless and use the addict out of sight out of mind. […] We divers hope that through education and making these people aware, we can at least reduce some of the litter.”

— Jim Mainville, North Bay Scuba Club President

Thanks to a morning of hard work, and that’s not even mentioning the divers freezing their fin off in 4 degree Celsius water, the club pulled four bins of garbage from Lake Nippising. Some of this trash included a wagon, lots of metal piping, an owl garden statue. The most significant item was a 45-gallon drum that diver Rick Thibeault hauled up.

Along with some of the big garbage finds, the scuba club also pulled some of the classic litter culprits from the bottom of the marina; discarded cans and bottles. Cans and bottles can be recycled – even when they are fished from the bottom of a waterway, that is if they aren’t too contaminated. Unfortunately, in most cases, these items need to be tossed due to excessive corrosion.

Team Photo Of The Scuba Diving Clean Up Crew At The North Bay Harbour, Ontario, Scuba Diving Canada

For more on the marine clean up story check out CTV Northern Ontario’s coverage:

Writers Note: A huge thanks goes out to the North Bay scuba club for their years of dedication in cleaning up the North Bay Marina. We would also like to recognize all the mothers who dedicated their special morning to helping this initiative succeed, especially the amazing Bonny Perron who helped and captured this clean-up project in photos!

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Taking Out The Trash North Bay Cleanup

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