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WPB Police hosts annual waterway clean up

Posted at 7:31 PM, Jul 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-13 19:33:13-04

Local law enforcement and volunteer divers are working hard to clean up our waterways.

On Friday, dozens of divers and volunteers worked in the hot sun for hours pulling out some pretty crazy stuff from the West Palm Beach intracoastal.

The West Palm Beach Police Department's Underwater Search and Recovery Team hosted thire 4th Annual Intracoastal Waterway Dive Clean-up. 

"We find all sorts of things when we do these clean ups," said Seth Buxton with WPBPD, who helped coordinate the event. "We see turtles, we see porpoises and dolphins and manatees. A lot of these items are sharp or they can pose an entanglement and potentially injure or kill the animals."

They chose this specific area of West Palm Beach -- at city docks -- for a reason.

"Sunfest, Fourth on Flagler, the international boat show," said Buxton.

So there's a ton of trash that ends up in the water. We saw a solar panels, cords, beer bottles, motors and even props from events.

"Our last clean up we actually found an anchor from the 1800s from an old ship," said Buxton.

We got a closer look at divers trying to pull out a 2,000 pound beam lost from an event, possibly years ago. Divers are careful to wrapping harnesses and hooks around the debris.

The water is also very dark, making a great opportunity for police to practice important work...

"Test their skills in the black water and that can come in handy during rescue operations," said Buxton.

Police said Friday's dive is a lesson to the community to stop littering.

"Just throw away your trash, it's as simple as that," said Buxton.

Unfortunately, divers couldn't get that huge beam out of the water but they did tag it with a float and GPS so that can track it and remove it very soon.

Crews did remove a total of 500 pounds of trash from the downtown waterway on Friday.