MARQUETTE — In just about a month, volunteers will be gathering for the 2nd annual Marquette Lower Harbor Underwater Cleanup.
The effort is led by Don Fassbender–also known as Diver Don. Last year, he and dozens of volunteers came together to clear the lower harbor of all the things that shouldn’t be under the water–and they plan to do it again on July 18.
“We’re going to be taking out trash, tires, all kinds of things that have collected in the harbor through years of neglect,” explained Fassbender. “Last year we took out four tons of tires. They were actually used to protect the boats; they were bumpers, if you will. And eventually those ropes would decay, fall into the drink, and be abandoned. We’re trying to get all the nasty stuff out of the lake, like rubber and plastic. There are all kinds of things that shouldn’t be in our drinking water, and our objective is to remove it and leave the harbor in a cleaner state than we found it.”
Fassbender says the cleanup serves two purposes. Cleaning the harbor of tires and other objects will make the environment safer for creatures living in the lake. It will also ensure the beauty and quality of the water for years to come.
“I really enjoy scuba diving and seeing fish and things like that underwater, and there aren’t that many,” said Fassbender. “I see more tires than I see fish. So ideally our long-term plan is to clean up the harbor, plant some fish cribs, and make it a better environment for all. We’re going to benefit from this certainly, you and I, and I think it’s imperative that we keep this water clean for the next generations. The cleaner the water the better.”
Volunteers are encouraged to meet Fassbender at the Harbor from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m on July 18.
Those with scuba gear and experience are welcome, but there are plenty of ways to help out on land as well.