For the first time in the history of the Annual Lake of the Ozarks Fall Cleanup, a group of divers are taking the cleanup underwater. After a morning of shoreline cleanup, five men dove into the murky lake water to clear out any trash they could find.
"Whatever we come across, is what we are hoping to find," Trevor Dowdney with LOZ Dive, LLC said.
The divers met at the Grand Glaize Beach, informally known as PB 2, on Thursday afternoon. They focused on the cove near the beach before making their way to Pa He Tsi.
For Dowdney and fellow diver Jeff Westenkuehler, diving at Lake of the Ozarks is a weekly activity for them. They know what is under the water and that it should not be there. Both see the dive cleanup as a way to give back to the community.
Westenkuehler remembers coming to the lake as a child and said now it is time to keep the water clean for future generations.
"Keeping these things clean is paramount," Westenkuehler said.
Residents and visitors are encouraged to think about what they are putting in the water before they leave it there.
"Assess what damage you can be doing when you put it in the lake," Dowdney said. "Essentially we are just trying to lessen the burden on the bottom of the lake."
Thursday's dive was a "feel only" dive. The divers simply waved their hands on the lake bed and found everything from camping chairs and car batteries to cans and a license plate.
Other divers included Zachary Vize, Geno Grumbois and Shawn Kober.
This year's cleanup began on Sept. 7 and continues through Oct. 31.