The 16th annual Sylvan Lake Underwater Cleanup happened on a sunny Sunday morning.
Volunteers gathered on the pier early on Sept. 22 ready to lend a helping hand.
“It’s really volunteer powered and everybody out here is doing it out of the goodness of their heart knowing that the lake deserves the love that we give it,” said Mayor Sean McIntyre, who was there with his kayak to serve as paddle support for the divers.
“If it were not for these volunteers the lake would be in rough shape,” continued McIntyre.
The scuba divers come from all over Alberta and work with the Alberta Underwater Council to clean lakes year round, explained McIntyre, adding the Town is grateful to have them at the clean up every year.
Cathie McCuaig, executive director of the Alberta Underwater Council, said the clean up efforts help keep wildlife safe as well as children safe.
“Next year when they come and play in the water they’re not getting hurt by broken glass or bits of metal,” said McCuaig, who added fishing lines serve as an entanglement danger to wildlife.
McIntyre said he was “encouraged” to see a lot of divers and a good amount of paddle support alongside the shoreline cleaners.
Paddle support came in the form of canoes and kayaks, while paddle boards were also welcome.
“I’m happy whenever I see anybody willing to volunteer [and] put their time on the line to clean up the community,” said McIntyre.
This year’s Sylvan Lake Underwater Cleanup saw bright sun and a warm afternoon, while last year’s event was cancelled due to snow.
While onshore cleanups have been held throughout the season, the underwater portion has been untouched since the 2017 underwater clean up.
However, the cold summer may have resulted in less materials ending up in the water this swim season.
“The only thing we can do is get out there and check and see what we bring in,” said McIntyre.
An onshore clean up will be hosted by the Town in the spring.
Follow Kaylyn Whibbs on Twitter