A septuagenarian swimmer emerges, clutching a pair of children’s swimming goggles. Over the next hour, 15 women -- all over age 65 -- hunt for trash across Mares Pond, near Falmouth, Massachusetts. They are part of the Old Ladies Against Underwater Garbage which has been removing trash, by hand, from ponds across Cape Cod since 2017. Founder Susan Baur, a psychologist, says the “old lady” identity is a crucial part of what the group is about. “Over 65, if you’re healthy enough to do what we’re doing, it is the age of gratitude,” she says. As the group has grown, it has taken a more systematic approach to cleanups, developing relationships with local pond associations. In late June, the group held its first “tryouts,” open to any woman over age 65, ensuring that the 15 new recruits could comfortably swim in a pond, dive down, and lug out tires, hunks of wood, and whatever else they found.

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