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Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 5:01 pm | Fair 61º


Santa Barbara Harbor’s Operation Clean Sweep Celebrates 9 Years

The seafloor in any busy harbor can grow littered with lost or discarded junk, impacting boating safety and the environment. You may ask yourself, “What’s really down there, and how does it ever get cleaned up?”

Enter Santa Barbara Harbor’s Operation Clean Sweep, with its ninth annual event taking place Saturday, May 2.

A team of volunteer divers will plunge into harbor waters off Marina 1 fingers “Q,” “R” and “S” from 9 to 11 a.m., supported by 25 dock workers who will help cart off what the divers retrieve.

During the past eight Clean-Sweep events, 15.7 tons of debris have been removed from Santa Barbara Harbor! This year’s event reflects a special achievement — all marina fingers will have been "swept" one time, finishing the first-ever circumnavigation of Santa Barbara Harbor. Items retrieved during past years range from bicycles, barbecues, satellite dishes, plastic barrels and boat propellers, to outboard engines, fishing poles, dock carts, buckets, beer bottles and the occasional marine battery.

The Santa Barbara Waterfront Department joins Santa Barbara Channel Keeper, Surfrider Foundation, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, harbor dive businesses and local fishermen in this effort. The public is welcomed to watch or participate in the dockside activities. You may be surprised to see just what turns up!

— Mick Kronman is the harbor operations manager for the City of Santa Barbara.


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