Oklahoma scuba divers clean Lake Murray

Published: Sep. 23, 2018 at 9:35 PM CDT
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Scuba divers from Texoma and the Oklahoma City area gathered at Marietta Landing on Lake Murray on Sunday to help clean up the lake.

The divers are part of a program called Dive Against Debris.

50,000 divers across the world have participated since the program began in 2011.

Dive Against Debris is organized by the Project AWARE Foundation, an organization inspiring divers to collect trash and supporting improvement in waste management.

Jarrett Henderson is from Norman and has been a scuba diver for four years.

“It’s a good way to make new friends," Henderson said. "It’s a fun sport, great exercise. A lot of the world is water, so you get to see a whole other part of the world that most people don’t get to see.”

Henderson said he enjoys participating in Dive Against Debris.

"It makes me feel great," Henderson said. "Anytime you get to beautify an area for someone else to enjoy, you can't help but feel good about yourself when you do something like that."

While the divers usually find fishing line, bottles, plastic bags and cans at Lake Murray, they do find some interesting items.

"Every now and then you might run across a cell phone or some jewelry," Henderson said. "Everyone wants to find a wedding ring, I think. It's a smorgasbord of items from time to time."

Dana Drake is the owner of Sea Shanty scuba dive center in Norman, the event's sponsor.

Sea Shanty provided free equipment rentals and tank fills for the divers to encourage them to come out and clean up the lake.

She said the clean up helps the divers as well.

"Unbeknownst to a lot of people, there are a lot of scuba divers in Oklahoma," Drake said. "Keeping the dive parks clean keeps everybody safe. It not only helps the divers, but it helps the people who are enjoying the lake as well."

The divers on Sunday collected many bags of trash, a raft, an old saw and an antique soda bottle.

Henderson said he urges everyone at the lake to take part in keeping it nice.

"Our Oklahoma lakes are a beautiful place for all of us to enjoy," he said. "Do what you can. If you're out at the lake, pick something up and take it to the trash can."