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16-year-old Toronto diver cleans up water at Humber Bay Park on weekends

Click to play video: '16-year-old Toronto diver cleans up water at Humber Bay Park on weekends' 16-year-old Toronto diver cleans up water at Humber Bay Park on weekends
A 16-year-old Toronto diver is using his spare time on weekends to help remove garbage from the water at Humber Bay Park. He says for him the contribution is a simple act that helps give back and preserve the environment. Katherine Ward reports. – Feb 28, 2021

A 16-year-old from Toronto is combining his love for the water with a goal to help the environment. On weekends, while some teenagers may be watching TV or playing video games, Mark Turezki hits the water at Humber Bay Park to dive with his father.

Mark has been diving since he was 10-years-old and has been exploring this piece of shoreline since last summer. He said there are many wonderful natural aspects that people might find surprising.

“There is this incredible natural formation called the ridges,” Mark said. “Six seven-foot tall ridges which you wouldn’t expect here, you would expect maybe in the Caribbean, but definitely unique for this usually flat area.”

Read more: ‘It’s pretty remarkable’: Volunteers pitch in to clean up the Don Valley

At this time of year, the water temperature hovers around two degrees Celsius. But Mark said he does not mind the chill. “This is where we dive, this is where we enjoy ourselves.”

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To date, he and his father have completed more than 20 dives at this site. In addition to taking in the natural sights, he also noticed there was a lot of garbage that had accumulated on the bottom of the bay. Mark said they find shopping bags, beer bottles, masks, and gloves. So, with every dive in, Mark and his dad Roman would take garbage out.

“You know there is plenty of fish here in the summer and various other animals that get affected by this trash that get caught in it, strangled by it,” Mark said.

Read more: Plastics in our oceans – How one Canadian is trying to clean up

His father said the clean-up was all Mark’s idea and he is happy to encourage and support his son.

“You don’t have to go with a massive initiative, you know, each and every time you pick up litter it helps, and each and every time you use a garbage can to dispose your litter, it also helps,” Roman said.

At the end of the day, the reasoning is simple; leave the place better than you found it and with as little trash as possible. “It shouldn’t be in the water, it should be in a trash can,” said Mark. “It’s good to give back and keep it clean.”

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