AUSTIN, Texas - Divers with Lake Travis Scuba help clean up some of the cans and cups left behind in Lake Travis each week, but they said it's a never ending process because of all of the people who drop their trash in the water. “Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean we don't see it,” said Robert Weiss, owner and operator of Lake Travis Scuba.
In fact, divers have already picked up about 12 full bags of trash this year and the season doesn't officially kick off until this weekend. “It is very disturbing to see lots of cans, lots of solo cups, lots of Jell-O shot cups, and lids, and things that really have no point in being down there,” Weiss said.
Divers with Lake Travis Scuba bring trash bags on all their trips to try and help remove some of the garbage lying in the lake bed. “The trash is always there, so it's a nonstop thing,” said Weiss.
Weiss said oftentimes he notices people drinking out in the water will sink their cans and cups rather than bring them back to the boat. “It's not because it's blowing off the boats, it's being intentionally dropped. They don't think they're doing a bad thing, but, ultimately, they're contributing to a big trash pit,” said Weiss.
Tuesday, Thia Coward snorkeled in the lake for the first time.
“I saw a shoe, beer cans, solo cups, miscellaneous shiny things that I could not dive to the depth of, yeah, just a bunch of crap,” Coward said.
Not only concerning for her, but also all the species who call Lake Travis home. “All trash breaks down at some point. Some slow, some fast. And just knowing that you don't know what you're actually swimming with, what toxins you're swimming with and all that, it's just kind of gross,” said Coward.
“I would have to say that there has to be some effect of trash being down there,” Weiss said.
“If you have to put a floating garbage can out or something, come up with a solution, but keep your trash where it should go. Recycle it, throw it away, but don't leave it in the lake bottom,” he added.
At the end of each summer, Lake Travis Scuba holds a big cleanup event to try and remove as much trash as possible from Lake Travis. Last year, they picked up 180 bags of garbage.