Miserable, rainy conditions could not dampen the spirits of over 80 Divers, Scouts and their families on Sunday September 22 as they attacked Sasamat Lake for Project AWARE. For the fourth year in a row Langley Diving focused their biggest annual event on this urban lake in Port Moody BC.
Divers retrieved over 1,100 cans and over 450 bottles. Virtually all of them were alcohol, something expressly prohibited in this Provincial Park! Some other items of note were a water-proof digital camera which still worked, and a small porcelain vase with an obscure name printed on it. When opened, the vase contained a small bag of ashes, obviously someone's pet "buried at sea" in the lake.
Project AWARE Co-ordinator, Robbin Knox was overwhelmed with the turn out and surprised at the results. "We actually collected less garbage this year from the main White Pine Beach area than in previous years. It appears we are actually having an impact on this lake! Now if we can just get the fishermen to stop dumping their bottles and cans off the dock."
While divers, brought up bag after bag of garbage, Scouts cruised the lake in canoes collecting the bags and bringing them in to shore. Some of the divers were Ventures from Canada's first "Scuba-Vents" Venture Company, certified as Open Water Divers earlier this year by Langley Diving.
Langley Diving supplied all the gear divers needed, as well as a free barbecue lunch and suppliers provided prizes for every participant. PADI Course Director and Langley Diving onwer Les Newman was excited to watch it all unfold. "The shore and canoe teams got every bit as wet as those in the water but no one complained and everyone went about their jobs. It was thrilling to see everyone working together."
The big winner - other than the environment- was Project AWARE. Donations from lunch totalled $437. Re-cycling cans generated $109.70 and the bottles will raise about $40. "That's $586.70 for Project AWARE," said Les. "I am off to PADI with a cheque so we can get some matching funds to help save our environment."