More than 1,000 dive and shoreline volunteers are expected to remove and recycle five tons of trash and debris from the waters and shoreline of Lake Travis during the 19th annual Lake Travis Underwater & Shoreline Cleanup on Sept. 15 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
The Lake Travis Underwater & Shoreline Cleanup is the largest scuba diving and shoreline cleanup in Texas, according to its organizers. It helps to raise public awareness of the importance of Lake Travis and the other Highland Lakes and keeps the Lake healthy and clean. The event’s participants include several hundred certified scuba divers and shoreline volunteers, who help collect trash from the bottom of Lake Travis and the nine Travis County parks surrounding the lake. The cleanup is followed by a volunteer thank-you party at The Oasis on Lake Travis, 6550 Comanche Trail, which will include a live DJ, door prizes, lunch and educational activities surrounding the protection and preservation of our natural resources.
As a result of the past year’s epic drought, low lake levels have exposed vast shorelines littered with trash. Extra volunteers and manpower at this year’s cleanup will be key to gathering and taking away as much trash as possible from the lake bottom and extended shoreline, especially with the current drought conditions on the Highland Lakes. During the last drought of 2009, the cleanup had its most successful year in terms of amount of trash collected. Over 35 tons of debris was gathered from the water and shoreline of Lake Travis.
For 18 years, the community has come together to help protect and preserve one of Central Texas’ vital resources. The Lake Travis Underwater & Shoreline Cleanup began in 1994 as an informal gathering of local dive shops and has grown dramatically each year. The event is now managed by a partnership among the Colorado River Alliance, Keep Austin Beautiful, and Travis County Parks.
The event is made possible through the participation of local marinas, boat rental operations, community groups, and the following dive shops: Water Explorers of Texas, Deep Blue Scuba, Dive World Austin, Oak Hill Scuba, Pisces Scuba Club, Scubaland Adventures, Tom’s Dive & Swim, Travis County Volunteer Emergency Unit, Travis County Sheriff Lake Patrol, Lake Travis Scuba and the University Scuba Club. Local area businesses also contribute through various sponsorships and donations. Community support and involvement has been the key to the continued success of the Cleanup.