Diver Don moves cleanup efforts to Keweenaw Bay waters | WJMN

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 Marquette Harbor earlier this summer, Diver Don has now turned his sights to Keweenaw Bay. Monday’s dive was a preliminary assessment of Baraga Marina, in preparation for a cleanup dive on Tuesday.

“We came to inspect the area to try to find items that need to be lifted,” Fassbender said. “Sometimes it takes a bit of preparation ahead of time to do these things.”

What do they find? Lots of hooked fishing lures, as well as assorted trash, cans and bottles and of course tires.

“And obviously there’s a good, you know, population of shore anglers here because we brought in dozens and dozens of lures and there must be miles of filament on them,” Fassbender said. “But what we found in the diving depths, we went up maybe a dozen tires.”

Volunteers are always welcome to come and support the divers, who will not only be at Baraga Marina, but also at Sand Point and L’Anse Marina. Fassbender says much of the waste collected is due to simple negligence.

“We found a lot of shopping bags and I don’t know if it was necessarily malice or negligence,” Fassbender said. “I suspect a lot of things are just negligence. I mean there’s not much breeze right now but it’s enough to carry a bag in the lake and it takes years and years and decades to break down and it gets into our system food, our food chain. People need to be a little more aware of their environment and their waste.

Tuesday’s cleanup dive will begin at 8:00 am at Sand Point Marina in Baraga. This has all been made possible with the support of the Keweenaw Bay Indian community, the Superior Watershed Partnership and the many volunteers who are dedicated to cleaning up our beautiful coastline.

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