Missoula Scuba & Snorkel and Family Fun Scuba & Snorkel in Billings are hosting their second annual Big Sky Underwater Cleanup on Saturday, July 23 at 9 am in Polson, Montana. Groups begin cleanup efforts from Boettcher Park to the north side of the Flathead River.

In 2021, the group collected close to 1000 pounds of trash in Montana’s yellow and blue bays. Divers are split into groups and led by a group leader with experience in scuba diving. Participants are asked to bring scuba gear, such as weights, mesh bags, air tanks, and a light. Tanks are available at the cleanup event for those who do not have them. Rental gear is also available but should be requested before July 17 to ensure they are available.

At the event, food is provided with hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats. Cleanup shirts will be available after the clean-up is finished. There will be an after-party where people can talk about scuba or have a good time with everyone who helped. Participants in the Big Sky Underwater Cleanup are asked to bring a hat, towel, sunscreen, bug spray, camp chair, and dry clothes. 

Marc Dean is the owner of Missoula and Family Fun Scuba & Snorkel. He is also one of the scuba instructors and received the PADI Elite Instructor awards from 2017-2020. He explains how important it is to keep waters clean, not just in Montana but across the world. Without cleanup efforts like the Big Sky Underwater Cleanup, trash in the water begins to rot, killing fish and significantly affecting tourism. Plastic is the biggest threat to any body of water. Once the plastic decomposes, it negatively affects the water.

Dean wants to make others aware that if you tamper with the earth’s water, the effects leading up can be devastating. Even certain sunscreens can affect lakes, oceans, and rivers. Thankfully, water-friendly sunscreen is available for purchase and should be used instead when entering any water.

 Email Info@MissoulaScuba.com or Info@FamilyFunScuba.com to learn how to participate in the Big Sky Underwater Cleanup.