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'Underwater Soldiers' conducts unique cleanup at Giant Springs

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Posted at 4:30 PM, Jun 11, 2024

GREAT FALLS — Divers from Underwater Soldiers, a Montana non-profit, recently gathered at Giant Springs for a special cleanup effort focused on removing invasive species and trash.

Clearing Invasive Species

Kory Goodau, a diver with Underwater Soldiers, explained the mission. "We're taking out invasive weeds and debris that clog up the springs during the summer. We scuba dive in Giant Springs to remove these plants and any garbage people might have tossed in. Our goal is to keep the springs clean and enjoyable for visitors."

Unique Underwater Experience

The divers had the rare opportunity to explore parts of the springs seldom seen by the public. "We saw two massive brown trout, and we also got to see the source of the springs," Goodau said. "It was beautiful watching the freshwater push the sand up. In some places, the pressure was so strong it could actually push you to the surface."

Community Impact

The work done by Underwater Soldiers benefits the community significantly. "Giant Springs is a state park that many people visit to enjoy time with friends and family," Goodau noted. "We aim to maintain the water's integrity, ensuring it's a healthy environment for local species and remains attractive and clean for everyone."

Veteran Therapy Program

Beyond environmental efforts, the cleanup is part of a broader veteran therapy program. "Underwater Soldiers is a nonprofit that helps military veterans deal with PTSD and the loss of camaraderie after leaving the service," Goodau explained. "It's about veterans supporting each other through scuba diving and doing something we all love."

Encouraging Public Engagement

With the springs now freshly cleaned, the public is encouraged to visit the park and explore the many natural wonders Montana offers. "Summer is upon us," Goodau said. "There are mountains, rivers, and lots to do here in Montana. Get out there and enjoy it."

The efforts of Underwater Soldiers not only enhance the beauty and health of Giant Springs but also provide a meaningful way for veterans to connect and heal. Are you or someone you know a military veteran or current servicemember suffering from PTSD? You can reach out to UWS on facebook here or at the organization’s main website here.

And if you've ever wondered where the term SCUBA comes from - it's an acronym for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.