BARAGA, Mich. (WJMN) – No, it’s not the creature from the black lagoon, but Diver Don Fassbender and his resolute band of volunteer divers. After successfully cleaning up the Marquette harbor earlier this summer, Diver Don has now turned his sights on Keweenaw Bay. Monday’s dive was a preliminary assessment of Baraga’s marina, in preparation for a clean up dive on Tuesday.
“We’ve come up to inspect the area to try and find items that need to be brought up,” said Fassbender. “Sometimes it takes a little bit of advance preparation to do these things.”
What are they finding? Lots of snagged fishing lures, along with assorted trash, cans and bottles and of course, tires.
“And evidently there’s a good, you know, shore fishing population here because we brought up dozens and dozens of lures and there’s got to be miles of filament on there,” said Fassbender. “But what we found in diving depths, maybe we pulled up a dozen tires.”
Volunteers are always welcome to come out and support the divers, who will not only be in Baraga marina, but also at Sand Point and the marina in L’Anse. Fassbender says much of the trash collected is due to simple carelessness.
“We found a lot of shopping bags and I don’t know if that was necessarily malicious or carelessness,” said Fassbender. “I suspect a lot of the is just carelessness. I mean there’s not much of a breeze right now but it’s enough to carry a bag into the lake and that takes years and years, decades to deteriorate and it does get into our food system, our food chain. People need to be a little more aware of their surroundings and their trash.”
Tuesday’s clean up dive kicks off at 8:00 am at the Sand Point Marina in Baraga. All of it made possible with the support of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Superior Watershed Partnership and the many volunteers who are dedicated to clean up our beautiful shoreline.