BEMIDJI -- About 15 people gathered at Diamond Point Park on Monday evening to collect trash from Lake Bemidji and along the shoreline.

Four divers from the BSU Dive Club, supervised by dive instructor Dan Carlson, entered the water to see what debris could be found at the bottom of Lake Bemidji. Members of BSU’s Students for the Environment club and community volunteers stood on shore waiting to see what the divers would find.

Volunteers stood on shore waiting to mark whatever items were found off of a checklist. While they waited for the divers, volunteers also walked along the shoreline picking up whatever trash they could find.

Carlson, owner of The Dive Depot in Bemidji, said they have done an annual dive in Lake Bemidji like this one for several years. However, this was the first time the BSU Dive Club had joined the annual BSU Lakeshore Cleanup at Diamond Point.

High winds out on the lake made it hard for the divers to see, due to the intense churning of the water stirring up sand and mud. They still managed to find some garbage, including a bait container, two light bulbs, seven ropes, two oil bottles, 79 pieces of plastic and more.

Anna Haynes, a BSU student who helped organize the event, said a total of four bags of trash and four bags of recycling were collected by the end of the night.

Summary of items collected:

Shoreline/Park/Recreational cleanup:

  • 10 paper or plastic bags

  • 9 balloons

  • 12 plastic beverage bottles

  • 11 glass beverage bottles

  • 10 beverage cans

  • 36 caps/lids

  • 3 items of clothing

  • 8 cups, plates, forks, knives, and spoons

  • 68 food wrappers/containers

  • 2 shotgun shells

  • 11 straws

  • 3 toys

Water cleanup:

  • 1 bait container

  • 1 fishing line

  • 2 light bulbs/tubes

  • 2 oil bottles

  • 79 pieces of plastic sheeting/tarps

  • 7 ropes

  • 1 strapping band

Smoking-related cleanup:

  • 107 cigarettes/cigarette filters

  • 1 cigarette lighter

  • 2 tobacco packaging/wrappers

Miscellaneous debris:

  • 22 pieces of foam

  • 9 pieces of paper

  • 11 shards of glass

  • 12 shopping tags

  • 1 hair tie

  • 15 pieces of other miscellaneous debris