Frank Rakowski and Tracy Green of Scuba Connection, a NAUI Platinum Pro Dive Center, led the 2nd Annual
Clean Up Project through the Green Diver Initiative. The event was hosted by Scuba Connection out of Bergenfield NJ and sponsored by ADR NJ Services. The reservoir which is approximately 2000 acres has a max depth of 180ft and has a capacity of 55 billion gallons of water. Round Valley is a unique recreation area in the heart of New Jersey and offers visitors hiking, camping, boating, fishing and of course scuba diving and snorkeling. The Park has a carry-in/ carry-out program yet garbage still ends up in the water which requires cleaning up.
The cleanup crew consisted of 31 volunteers which came from all areas of the state along with park staff. Several were participants from the last clean up event and intend to continue participating in the growing tradition. All volunteers played a critical role. Of the 31 volunteers, 6 individuals provided support on the beach and the shoreline, 19 were divers that were broken up into 6 teams, 5 individuals played a critical role on the water in kayaks protecting divers from encroaching fishermen; also Mr. Watts, a local resident and frequent visitor to Round Valley, provided support on the water with his power boat and also assisted local Scout Troop 228 get across the reservoir to their camp areas. Working in an area that was less than 2% of the entire size of the reservoir the teams recovered 350 pounds of bottles, cans, fishing equipment, miscellaneous plastic containers and wrappers, as well as a few unique items like boat anchors, motor parts, and tires. As the debris piled up at the staging area near the camper’s boat launch onlookers were surprised of what has been left behind by others.
Leigh Germann, the park’s superintendent was extremely grateful for our efforts and continues to encourage us to keep going until the reservoir is clean. The Scuba Connection Dive Team with the support of the NAUI Green Diver Initiative intends to do just that! Preparations for the 2022 event are already in process and will be held on September 17, 2022. Those that are interested in participating can RSVP now for the event here: