LAKE MURRAY SHORES, S.C. — The Reggaetronic Festival on Lake Murray this past weekend left not only music in our ears, but also leftover trash floating in the water.
To be specific, it was pounds and pounds of trash, and not where you might think. Underwater.
"Litter impacts every part of our lives, truly. It’s not just an environmental issue, it’s an economic issue, it’s a social issue and when we protect our waterways, we’re ensuring that we’re protecting those bodies of water that will be available for us, not just for recreational uses, but for those uses to sustain life for years to come," said Keep the Midlands Beautiful executive director Ebonee Gadson.
A group of 12 scuba divers based in the Lake Murray area helped clear Spence Island after a busy festival weekend on the water.
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"We wanted to do some cleanup so we felt, 'hey, what a great time than after a big boat festival of Reggaetronic,'" local scuba diver Steven Franklin said.
Not only did they pull up an old bookshelf cassette player, but also hundreds of beer cans and bottles.
"It’s exceptionally dirtier there than I would say most other places," Franklin said. "The fact that we pulled up almost 1,100 pounds of trash and there’s still trash there is quite telling of how dirty it really is underneath those waters in the Spence Islands," Franklin said.
The group of divers tells News 19 they adopted the waters below these islands this year, in 2022, to clean up in the future as well.
But Franklin said it’s best everyone does their part because it can be disheartening to see trash while scuba diving.
"We're very lucky to have this beautiful lake here," Franklin said. "Everybody uses it in some aspect, whether boating, fishing, diving, just even coming out and watching the sunset or sunrise, or just taking a swim and we really all need to do our part. It really starts with just not littering."
Franklin said he advises people to put their trash in a trash bag on the boat and bring it back home with you.