Fighting for a trash-free Bras D’or
Baddeck Barnacles Diving Club welcomes public to clean up day
The Bras D’or Lake is full of trash.
“It's amazing what people dump off the wharf,” said Baddeck Barnacle Diving Club member Dan Chiasson.
Over the last six years, the Club has collected plastic bags, cans, cell phones, bicycles, chain saws, cameras, sunglasses, barbeques and washing machines from the lake while participating in International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICCD).
Ocean garbage is a global issue. Members of Baddeck Barnacles diving club understand this first hand.
"When you are diving over a period of 30 or 40 years, you see changes to the environment. For instance, doing a wreck off shore, 25 miles off the coast, and you're swimming into a sea of beer cans and discarded fishing equipment in the middle of nowhere. Why is this place so trashed? It sparks a real concern for why people do that,” said Barnacle Dan Mccoart.
The Bras D’or Lake offers great shore diving and Mccoart would like to keep it that way. It is also one of 16 designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Canada.
"We want to keep (the lake) clean and preserve the environment for future generations.”
Barnacle Don Gallop refers to club members as "ambassadors of the ocean".
The Barnacles formed in 2010 and are now the core diving club in Cape Breton. Members share a common and vested interest in the ecology, history and environment of the Bras d'or Lake.
On Saturday, September 16, at 10 am, the Barnacles welcome the public to join them at the Bras d'or Yacht club for their 7th annual clean-up of the Bras d'or Lake as part of International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICCD). Those who would like to help from shore can walk along the waterfront and collect garbage to be brought back to the wharf.
Volunteers around the world collected over 18 million pounds during last year’s event.
Victoria County and the Village of Baddeck support the clean-up by removing and sorting the hundreds of pounds of garbage collected. Tim Hortons provides refreshments and the event is capped off with a BBQ meal for participants. Residents are invited to join the Barnacles at this year's event to observe or participate.
The Barnacles want to foster an appreciation for aquatic environments, especially the Bras d'or Lake. They plan to shoot short documentary films to highlight the unique dive sites and marine environments in the area.
Barnacle meetings are held Wednesdays at 6 pm at the Yacht Club and new members are always welcome. No diving experience required. Anyone interested in diving instruction is encouraged to contact the Dive Corner in North Sydney.
Courtesy of Ocean Conservancy.