Thousands of cigarette butts collected in lake cleanup

15 teams of five on land and 21 divers collected garbage on Sept. 24

Fifteen teams of five on land, 21 divers and 12 paddlers in canoes and kayaks cleaned up garbage in Sylvan Lake on Sunday.

All the garbage collected was counted and categorized using tally sheets. Every group on land reported cigarette butts as their most picked up item.

The main portion of their haul? Cigarette butts.

Thousands of butts were picked up in the first hour.

The divers brought up garbage and handed it off to the paddlers to take into shore.

Since the first event in 2003 with only 12 divers from Edmonton, the event has grown and now draws divers from Calgary, Edmonton, Rocky Mountain House, Lacombe and Red Deer.

The event is part of The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a national conservation initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium and World Wildlife Fund that works with communities bordering on bodies of water.

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