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Sep 11 2017

‘Kohala Divers’ and ODA: New Big Island of Hawai’i Alliance for Ocean Debris Removal

By Founder and President Kurt Lieber

What a wonderful and productive day!

One of ODA’s great friends and supporters (who shall remain nameless, but you know who you are!)  organized several meetings for me on the Big Island of Hawai’i starting on August 29th.

I was excited to be able to meet and spend time with several other people doing conservation work here.

Kohala Divers to Partner with ODA for Clean Oceans

During that meeting, Rebekah and Greg Kaufmann, owners of Kohala Divers, wholeheartedly agreed with the need for ODA-style cleanups in the coastal waters of the Big Island, and they offered the use of their boat once a month for ODA to perform underwater cleanups. 

Rebekah Kaufman of Kohala DiversGreg Kaufman  of Kohala Divers

This is fantastic, and exactly what ODA is looking to do to help the ocean ecosystem around the islands. The number of whales becoming entangled in abandoned fishing gear is rising each year, so there is no time like the present to work to remove hazardous marine debris.

Kohala Divers storefront

Kohala Divers owns two dive boats; both are in harbor in Kawaihae, which is on the northwest side of the island. We haven’t set any dates just yet for a debris-removal dive, but will in the very near future and we’ll let you know!

Kohala Divers boat

Young People Active for Debris-Free Beaches

This day, I also had a fun encounter with a group of students from the Hawaii Preparatory Academy. Our mutual friend introduced me Cynthia Ho, who leads these students to do beach cleanups (super cool, right?).  She asked me to stop by and give a presentation to them before they started the cleanup. I did, and they were great to spend time with.

Students for cleanup

I talked with them at length about how plastics are affecting the fish, and that by eating them we are ingesting those same plastics. I emphasized how important it is to ensure that plastic garbage does find its way to the oceans, because once the debris is in the water it is very difficult to locate and remove. I couldn’t thank these kids enough for doing these cleanups. I am so thankful and impressed by them and Cynthia!

Will You Join our Alliance -- either on the boat or from home?

Your ODA team continues to grow our alliance, and gain momentum in Hawaii. I am excited for ODA to work with both Kohala Divers and Jack’s Diving Locker (read about our meeting here). If you are interesting in joining the boat or dive crew, please fill out our Crew Application.

Stay tuned for an update on our flagship Mr. Barker’s LegaSea and our California activities, too.

Thank you for being a part of the crew from wherever you are! By contributing financially, you make these ocean cleanups possible.

 

 
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