DIVERS DOWN: For the first time in at least 20 years, Santa Barbara Harbor officials orchestrated an ocean floor cleanup in the murky waters below Marina 3 last weekend. An extensive team of volunteers – including dozens of scuba divers and support boaters – took part in Operation Clean Sweep, hauling up 4,012 pounds of muck-covered garbage. By midmorning on Saturday, a large dumpster in the parking lot was overflowing with old anchors, busted steering wheels, rusted-out gas tanks, bicycles, booze bottles, various metal rods, nets, and a cheese grater. Event organizers – including the Surfrider Foundation, Channelkeepers, and the California Professional Divers Association – declared the cleanup a success. Based on the large amount of nonnative flotsam and jetsam recovered, plans are already underway for similar cleanups in other areas of the harbor. Harbor officials predict that an annual cleaning for the next seven to 10 years should render the harbor floor spick-and-span.
Originally published 12:00 p.m., May 25, 2006
Updated 3:34 p.m., June 16, 2006
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