REPORT OF THE 21ST EDITION OF THE GENEVA LAKE CLEAN-UP
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2013

It has now been more than 20 years that the AQUA DIVING ASSOCIATION is concerned about the cleanliness of our lake and that is why we are organizing each and every year a day of underwater waste collection.

Unfortunately, people still pollute the lake by throwing anything into it, from plastic bottles to carts from the supermarket, even safes or firearms.

The lake has become a kind of Ali Baba’s cave but in the negative sense. It is not sufficient to collect the waste, the waste needs to be sorted, identified and listed, this in accordance with requirements from the public bodies such as the lake police and the harbor office.

All this work is done by experienced divers, by volunteers who stay at the shore of the lake and rescue boats providing security.

As said before, all are volunteers ; more than a hundred people responded to the call despite rain and wind. We would like to thank them all.

This waste collection is the expression of a genuine ecological approach and the result of years of hard work and coordination before and during the event.

This year we have choosen to focus on educational issues and raise awareness of the children and adolescents. For the latter, we have organizied « miraculos waste fishing « contests, a drawing contest of waste items and the creation of « art masterpieces » on a small wooden board with heterogeneous items « fished » from the lake.
The event took place, like every year, in a very friendly and cordial atmosphere, in particular during the large breakfast and the hearty meal, both offered to the participants.

The end of the day was honoured by the presence of several governmental officials : Mrs Michèle Künzler, Minister of State
Mr. Mauro Poggia, National Councillor
Mr.Stefan Szeless, Head of the Harbour Office
Mrs Mireille Roy, Vice President of the Association of the « BAINS DES PAQUIS »
Mr. Meyner, representing the Committee of the « Fêtes de Genève »
Representatives from the Lake Police, Harbour Office, Municipality Police, Harbour & Rescue Guards etc

A certificate has been handed out to all participants to testify their action during this beautiful day. To thank them, nearly 250 gifts were prepared and given. In addition, a surprise-pack was given to the most faithful participants across all cleanings (including a « top secret » dolphin session).

A CD covering the last 20 years was also offered so that they keep an ever lasting souvenir of their committment. A tombola with nice prizes was also organized and the drawing took place at the bar of the « Bains des Pâquis ». A video film was also shot to cover this memorable day.

Despite strong winds and mixed weather (and some worries : one of our tents almost flew away into the lake), the event was a great success. About 50% of the registered participants were present and about 50 participants attended the famous « cheese fondue » offered by the « Bains des Pâquis ».

The evening continued at the « Palais Mascotte » where all participants were invited to « light the fire » as per Johnny H.

Hereafter we list the figures and nature of the collected waste :

6 tires, 673 softdrink cans, 248 plastic bottles, 2 boat batteries, 3 fuel tanks, 3 gas cans, 650 glass bottles, 2 carts from a supermarket, 250 kg of scrap metal, 3 wallets, 1 jewelry box, 1 safe door, etc. etc.

Altogether 792 kg of waste or the average across previous years (right bank of the lake) taking into consideration the number of divers and the weather conditions. We almost collected 15’000 kg of waste in 21 years !

We only have one wish that these figures are decreasing and that the lake cleaning day has no longer reason to be, maybe we have realized a real job of prevention and awareness. Its a question of minimal respect for the nature.

Reminder :

Please keep in mind the date of the 2014 Geneva Lake Clean-up day : 3rd weekend of September 2014. All volunteers wishing to help the organization are already welcome. Please contact us !

It goes without saying that this event could not have taken place without the generous support of our sponsors and we would like to express our sincere THANK YOU.

ASSOCIATION « LES BAINS DES PAQUIS » AND THEIR REFRESHMENT BAR, THE CHARITY FOUNDATION BANQUE PICTET, OLPHANY, FOUNDATION HANS WILSDORF, PROJECT AWARE PADI, « PHARMACY GOUDA », RESTAURANT « LE BORGIA », HOTEL « BRISTOL », VERBIER, LA SEICHE, SHIP-SHOP, SCUBAPRO, SCUBA DREAM, LE PETIT FUTE, ALLIANZ INSURANCE, BEAUTY INSTITUTE EMMA TARRE, LE « PALAIS MASCOTTE», CGN, LES GLACES NATIONALES LEBRUN, LE BAR « LA TERRASSE », LE RESTAURANT « LE GRUYERIEN», LA MAISON DE LA RIVIERE, ONE FM, LE RESPECT, SATUS GENEVE, SERBECO, LE « WAOW», SIG, MARTI MARINE, LE SAUVETAGE DE GENEVE, L’UNIVERSITE DE GENEVE, LE CENTRE GENEVOIS DU VOLONTARIAT, DIRECTION GENERALE DE LA NATURE ET DU PAYSAGE, THE MUNICIPALITIES OF CORSIER AND CHENE BOUGERIES AND THE SUPPORT OF THE CITY OF GENEVA, DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL COHESION, YOUTH AND SPORTS.

PATTY MOLL – AQUA DIVING