A volunteer diver takes a breath during an underwater clean up of Kootenay Lake in Nelson on Oct. 17. Photo: Mike Sagal

A volunteer diver takes a breath during an underwater clean up of Kootenay Lake in Nelson on Oct. 17. Photo: Mike Sagal

Volunteer divers clean up Nelson shore

A team hauled trash out from Kootenay Lake

Submitted by Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society

On Oct. 17, a group of volunteers worked together to organize an unconventional Kootenay Lake clean up.

This foreshore clean up was organized by the Kootenay Pedalwheelers, Kootenay Lake Sailing Association, West Kootenay Boating Association, and Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society. The goal was to address the issue of excessive litter below the water surface between the Prestige Marina and Lakeside Park.

The idea was conceived during recreational dives conducted by Jay Blackmore and Bruce Morrison. The divers noticed that there was a large amount of trash and debris along the lakebed in the high traffic shopping and dining district of Nelson.

Jay approached the Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society and asked if they would like to help co-ordinate a volunteer cleaning of the foreshore area using divers.

After months of planning, fundraising, and gathering donations and supplies, the team was ready to begin the first foreshore clean up on Kootenay Lake’s West Arm. Bruce and Jay suited up in their diving gear and plunged into the late fall waters. They used mesh bags to hold small pieces of trash, plastic bits, and cans. These bags along with larger items such as chairs, shopping carts, and tires were hoisted up by custom-made grappling hooks, donated by ArcWright Welding in Nelson, B.C.

Volunteers on the docks of the Prestige Marina patiently waited for the divers to signal that another haul of trash was ready to be pulled up to the surface. There was a consistent element of suspense, wondering what the divers would hook next! The dry land team would then sort cans from trash and load the growing trash pile into two small boats. Once full, the boats travelled to Lakeside Park to dispose of the various items in a bin donated by Mountain Bin.

Most of the garbage were items that had fallen off the docks in the strong lake winds commonly experienced down at the marina. Some of the items of note were two tricycles, five car tires, two boat windshields, five chairs, one small boat, and numerous cans and lighters. Nearing the end of the clean-up, the goal of reaching Lakeside Park became a loftier ambition than expected, with the four-hour clean-up only scratching the surface of the entire area to be cleaned.

The team all agreed that this event should be an annual occurrence, and that time spent combing the foreshore for trash with like-minded lake stewards was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

This clean up couldn’t have happened without the dedicated work of the volunteers from Kootenay Lake Sailing Association, West Kootenay Boating Association, and Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society.

This event was sponsored by Columbia Basin Trust with in-kind support from the City of Nelson, Ministry of Forest Lands and Natural Resources Operations Fish and Wildlife Branch, the Prestige Lakeside Resort and to Thor’s Pizzeria and Backroads Brewing. Thank you for your support in waiving tipping fees, helping us apply for permitting, and for providing refreshments after the event!

If you would like to support these and other efforts on the lake, consider becoming a member of any three of these community-based organizations. For any questions about this event, you can contact Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society Program Manager Camille LeBlanc at info@friendsofkootenaylake.ca.

EnvironmentWater

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This Dec. 2, 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)
Interior Health notes 80 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

108 people in the region have died from the virus

Selkirk College’s Tenth St. Campus in Nelson is among the locations where Interior Health will deliver the COVID-19 vaccine within the West Kootenay. Photo: Selkirk College
West Kootenay vaccine locations announced

Interior Health has released a list of places to receive the COVID-19 vaccine

Last week warming temperatures were a concern for Avalanche Canada forecasters, and those trends likely contributed to an avalanche that killed a West Kootenay snowmobiler on Thursday, March 4. Jen Coulter file photo.
Warming trend contributed to Kaslo fatality: Avalanche Canada

Concern for persistent layers has reduced since then

Police chief Paul Burkart (left) celebrated his retirement on the weekend with a dip in Kootenay Lake. Nelson fire chief Len McCharles and Deb Morris of BC Ambulance Services, seen here on the dock, also took the plunge. The event was a fundraiser for the BC Special Olympics. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson’s police chief, emergency workers take a cold dip for a good cause

Cold in the Koots raises $11,000 for BC Special Olympics

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps
Father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Most Read