danapointtimes.com — It’s a dark and dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it.

I’m talking about the 30 plus scuba divers who participated in Saturday’s Dana Point Harbor Cleanup. And with prizes on the line, those divers pulled out a ton of stuff, including marine parts, building and plumbing materials, electronics, fishing gear, crates, bottles, laptops—even Old Glory. Poor girl, she wasn’t in good shape but we propped her up and saluted her nonetheless.

For those who have not participated, here’s the exercise in a nutshell: put on a heavy wetsuit, hood and gloves, throw a tank on your back and jump into 60-degree water with zero visibility and crawl around the bottom of the harbor (in the muck) trying to locate trash and lost items. The only way to describe it is surreal, but completely satisfying because after you’re done you know you’ve helped the environment and the water quality in your backyard.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the expert coordination of Kelly Rinderknect and the crew at Dana West Marina, the County of Orange, the U.S. Coast Guard, the sponsors and all the other volunteers who pitched in. They are to be commended for hosting an important environmental volunteer opportunity that seems to get better and better each year.