Anyone who has to manage a commercial diving company and travel in well-worn waterways for a living might be familiar with the odd things that accumulate on the bottom of rivers and other bodies of water. A company that doesn't have the dive support vessel insurance needed for this kind of activity may be unprepared when their crew encounters an unexpected piece of refuse.

The waters around the Big Apple provide a perfect example of the strange underwater world of lost garbage. Citing the work of the online "Underwater New York" project, an article in LiveScience recently commented on the variety of odd objects that have been documented in New York's aquatic surroundings.

These include a list that ranges from the historic to the valuable to the disgusting, and suggest the kinds of recovery work that divers might be called upon to do in this area in order to find these things. It is easy to imagine divers going after some of the items, like silver bars that have been lost for more than a century and a mysterious robotic hand.

Heather Leibowitz of the Environment New York Research & Policy Center recently commented on the need to keep area waterways clean, in an editorial piece for the Journal News website at

"New York's waterways are the 15th most polluted in the nation," she writes. "Moreover, the problem is not just here in New York. Across the country, polluters dumped 206 million pounds of toxics into America's waters."

While efforts are made to keep these systems clean, divers can concern themselves with whether or not they have the proper diving insurance to protect them from sudden encounters with strange items.

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