Thousands of cigarette butts collected in lake cleanup

15 teams of five on land and 21 divers collected garbage on Sept. 24

On Sunday 15 teams of five on land, 21 divers and 12 paddlers in canoes and kayaks on Sylvan Lake came out to clean up garbage. All the garbage collected was counted and categorized using tally sheets. Every group on land reported cigarette butts as their most picked up item.

People participated for many reasons. Gabriel Conway from École Mother Teresa School was out with Michelle Pilote picking up garbage for volunteer points in a religion class. The main portion of their haul? Cigarette butts.

Jaime Stroud was out with Sylvan Agencies. “Some are doing the cleanup for Canada participACTION points, ” she said. When asked what she was finding the most of, again the answer was: cigarette butts.

A group of four NAIT students came down came down for the second year from the Biological Sciences Program. “It’s something something to do to help out with the environment,” said Gareth McKenzie, who is specializing in environmental sciences. “It’s doing our part where we can.” Within the first hour of the cleanup the team of four had already picked up over 600 cigarette butts.

Cathie McCuaig, executive director at Alberta Underwater Council was present to help with diver’s safety. “Remember to ditch your weights in an emergency but don’t ditch them if you hear a boat,” she cautioned two divers as they headed into the lake.

She explained that visibility is generally about ten to fifteen feet underwater but once divers start digging through the weeds and stirring up the bottom, that can change to inches so you can hear the boat but can’t tell where it’s coming from.

The divers brought up garbage and handed it off to the paddlers to take into shore.

Since the first event in 2003 with only 12 divers from Edmonton, the event has grown and now draws divers from Calgary, Edmonton, Rocky Mountain House, Lacombe and Red Deer.

The event is part of The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a national conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and World Wildlife Fund that works with communities bordering on bodies of water.

myra.nicks@sylvanlakenews.com

Just Posted

Christmas Bureau thankful of community support, generosity

The Christmas Bureau has been helping families in Sylvan Lake for more than 20 years

Public hearing for bylaw cancelled due to clerical error

The public meeting has been resheduled for Council’s next meeting, Jan. 8

UPDATE: Motorist dies near Ponoka after loose tire collides with vehicle

Ponoka RCMP seek assistance in locating vehicle belonging to the tire

Third annual event honours youth friendly business

Three Sylvan Lake businesses were recognized Dec. 11 for role in supporting youth

Toque Toss brings in warm clothing for communities

Bantam AA Tigers asked attendees at their Dec. 10 game to toss hats, mitts, socks and more on the ice

WATCH: Red Deer’s Outreach Centre begins construction with a smash

Dragon Fly Centre, a location dedicated to healing for children and youth

New fighter-jet competition to have national ‘economic interest’ requirement

Trudeau government wants to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s with 88 new fighters by as early as 2025

The top-binged shows on Netflix in 2017

Which show did you cheat on your spouse with by watching ahead?

2017 word of the year: Feminism

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017: ‘Feminism’

200 Russians to compete in Olympics as neutrals

The Russian Olympic Committee expects 200 to compete in South Korea

Researchers claim the ‘man flu’ does exist

Review of scientific studies suggests ‘man flu’ may be more intense: researcher

Trudeau appoints Supreme Court chief justice

Prime Minister Trudeau appoints Richard Wagner as Supreme Court chief justice

WestJet Christmas video turns children’s wishes into reality

This year’s annual video took a new spin on the 12 days of Christmas

Firefighters protect seaside California towns as blaze rages

A flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday

Most Read