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Some of you may remember a proposed cleanup of Smitty’s Cove last year, around March/April, that has been suspended in limbo thanks to tides, weather, a dispute with the caterer, and, oh, yeah… COVID.

For those who don’t remember, there was a bit of a kerfuffle in Smitty’s Cove last year, one thing lead to another, and a pair of boats burned and sank. They were successfully removed, but as with all things of this nature, left some debris in the water.

With the help of the City of Whittier, we had planned on organizing a massive cleanup effort, had almost 100 people confirmed in attendance, above and below the water, AWMS was going to cater it, the news was coming out, etc.

It was going to be awesome.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. And until ‘Rona World is in our rearview mirror, it’s not going to. But, instead of dwelling on the past, we’ve all agreed to do what we can moving forward into the New Year.

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Instead of waiting for the right time to do a “Big Community Clean-Up”, heading into the spring, we want to get as much garbage and debris out of the water as possible, guerilla-scuba style: one piece at a time, with many small groups operating under a common motive.

♻ All garbage can be dumped into the dumpsters at the harbormaster’s office. Please don’t leave trash in the Smitty’s parking lot or surrounding area.

If you just drag trash out of the water and leave it, you aren’t cleaning anything up, you’re just throwing garbage around. Please be sure any recovered debris makes its way to a dumpster.

♻ Burlap sacks can be purchased at local Anchorage dive shops for $1 per sack. 100% of the money from sacks goes back to buying more sacks. Sacks on sacks.

These sacks are biodegradable, incredibly strong, and can be yeeted directly into dumpsters once they’re full of sea-garbage.

♻ Please be safe and considerate, and only remove what you’re comfortable with and is within your skill set as a diver.

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♻ Please don’t remove anything that seems to be a habitat for marine life. Re-homing a couple urchins isn’t a big deal, but most of the “trash” is in Smitty’s (prior to the boats sinking) is actually established habitat from bygone years.

♻ Please do not destroy marine habitat by ignorance or negligence. If you’re not 100% certain it’s recent garbage and needing removal, just leave it alone. There’s enough garbage to grab that isn’t potentially artificial reef.

If there’s a ton of marine life residing in or on the piece of trash you’re about to pick up, it is likely established habitat. Leave it alone, and pick up the Complete Season 4 of Bongo Music CD’s. Those aren’t natural.

♻ Please do not remove anything you can’t carry to the dumpsters at the harbormaster’s office. Bigger objects will be removed, but only in coordination with the City of Whittier and the local diving community.

Even though this wasn’t what we had planned, this definitely is the best course of action available to us in our Brave New World. Any and everything helps, and we hope to see you out there. If you have any questions, please reach out to folks “In the Know” in the community (any of the shops, Friends of Smitty’s, etc) and Happy Holidays to everyone!

Let’s clean Smitty’s!