Summerland father organizing underwater clean up of Antler's Beach sand bags - InfoNews.ca

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Summerland father organizing underwater clean up of Antler's Beach sand bags

Dave Gottwald is organizing an underwater clean up of submerged sandbags off Antler's Beach in Peachland at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.
Image Credit: Facebook
August 10, 2017 - 4:30 PM

PEACHLAND – A Summerland man is asking for help cleaning up hundreds of submerged sand bags off Antler’s Beach this weekend.

Dave Gottwald and his son were snorkeling the popular Peachland beach over the weekend and noticed a massive amount of plastic and burlap bags used to bolster the banks sunk in about 20 feet of water.

“We were stunned at the number,” he says.

Now he is planning to return this weekend, hopefully with a few other volunteers willing to get their feet wet.

“We spent about an hour pulling what we could up onto the beach until we realized the job was a little bigger than we thought,” he says. “We came up with the idea to drum up some volunteers and make a day of it.”

The bags were likely washed away during a series of wind storms that almost closed the highway and pushed the already swollen Okanagan Lake well over its banks in many areas.

FILE PHOTO: A portion of Highway 97 near Peachland was almost closed during a windstorm in June that toppled concrete barricades.
FILE PHOTO: A portion of Highway 97 near Peachland was almost closed during a windstorm in June that toppled concrete barricades.

Gottwald is a member of the Okanagan Forest Task Force, a group of locals who organize clean ups at back country locations across the Okanagan.

He says this Saturday’s clean up at Antler’s Beach is just a wetter version of the Task Force.

“I always look for ways to teach my kids stewardship,” Gottwald says. “(The sandbags are) a hidden environmental garbage hazard you would never see unless you snorkeled like we did, so we just decided to take action.”

Gottwald and his son will be at Antler’s Beach at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12.

“Even if you can be the person on the beach putting (the sand bags) in garbage bags that would help lots,” he says.

For information on other clean ups in the Okanagan, join the Okanagan Forest Task Force Facebook page.


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