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City of Santa Barbara to Lead Clean Sweep of Harbor Waters

Divers and dock workers will team up Saturday to remove debris from the seafloor

The seafloor in any busy harbor can grow littered with lost or discarded junk, impacting boating safety, navigability and the environment. You may ask yourself: What’s really down there, and how can we clean it up?

Enter Santa Barbara Harbor’s Fifth Annual Operation Clean Sweep from 8 a.m. to noon this Saturday, May 7.

A team of divers will plunge into harbor waters under Marina 1 “A” through “D” finger docks supported by 25 dock workers who will cart off and catalog what the divers retrieve. They will be joined by safety boats and vessels capable of lifting heavy objects.

The City of Santa Barbara Waterfront Department will join Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, the Surfrider Foundation, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and harbor dive businesses.

The public is welcome to come down to watch the activities. It’s surprising what comes up! Each year, about two tons of seafloor junk is retrieved — traps, bicycles, steering wheels, barbecues and more.

For more information, call the Harbormaster’s Office at 805.564.5531.

— Mick Kronman is the operations manager for the Santa Barbara Harbor.

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