Divers in Yellowknife at the end of a dry run for their World Oceans Day clean-up. Photo: Yellowknife Divers
Two teams of Yellowknife divers will spend Thursday evening taking part in a global clean-up event for World Oceans Day.
Yellowknife Divers and Sea Women Expeditions will start their event from Lessard Drive, opposite Sundog Trading Post, at 6:30pm.
Susan R Eaton, Sea Women Expeditions’ founder, said the two groups were “leading by example and cleaning up our underwater backyard.”
In a global effort organized by a company named Zero Co, teams in Australia, India, the United Kingdom, the United States, Brazil and Argentina will be doing the same thing. In a press release, Eaton and Yellowknife Divers’ Jeremy MacDonald said they would be the event’s only Canadian representatives.
Thursday’s clean-up will focus on plastics and tires discarded in Yellowknife Bay, among other trash. Similar efforts have taken place for years and MacDonald said the aim is to retrieve 10,000 lb of rubbish annually.
“The beauty of the water is wrecked every time we swim across some trash,” he was quoted as saying. “Pollution in Great Slave Lake is going to impact the special and delicate ecosystems of the Arctic.”
Acknowledging that Great Slave Lake may be large but isn’t an ocean, the Yellowknife divers say their work is symbolically linked to the Arctic Ocean given the lake’s water eventually empties out there. Remaining teams in the clean-up will represent the world’s other oceans.
The broader global event will begin in Sydney, Australia. Organizers say garbage collected will be sorted and recycled where possible, with some being repurposed in Zero Co products.