By Kurt Lieber
Lucky to be with Trulucks
The past couple weeks have been busy ones for us Ocean Defenders…
On Thursday, September 13th, I traveled down to LaJolla, California to give a presentation to the staff of Trulucks Restaurant. Last year, Truluck’s Managing Partner Todd Perry heard me giving a radio interview and immediately called to discuss the possibility of making ODA the recipient of their annual fundraiser—which resulted in several thousand dollars to ODA, a great boost to our efforts!
Thursday was my second opportunity to talk with the employees of Trulucks, and what was supposed to be a 30-minute talk lasted more than an hour. They had lots of great questions, as well as suggestions on how to best present ODA to their customers during this year’s fundraiser, which will also benefit ODA! The whole interaction went well and they are all pumped up about trying to raise money for our operations. Thanks to everyone at Trulucks!
International Beach Cleanup Day
This is exactly what the name implies: people from all over the world organize volunteers to go down to their local stream, river, lake, or ocean and remove as much garbage as possible.
This year, ODA worked with the divers from the Deep Blue Scuba club based in Belmont Shores, California. We brought our vessel, the Clearwater, down from San Pedro to serve as a safety boat and help with large objects that divers were not able to lift, such as a lobster trap.
It was a rousing success. There were over 40 divers in the water and lots of folks helping on shore to cleanup the sand. Our appreciation goes out to Matt and Jonathan of Deep Blue Scuba for inviting us to this event. Also, thanks to ODA volunteers Jeff Connor, John Krieger, and Jim Lieber for helping with the boat operations and remove lots of floating plastic debris from the ocean. ODA is proud to have been a part of such a meaningful global action.
Celebrating Rosh Hashanah
I am honored to have been invited by Rabbi Neal, from the Beth Shir Shalom Synagogue in Santa Monica, to help his synagogue celebrate Rosh Hashanah down at the waters edge by the pier.
This is the synagogue that long-term ODA volunteer Michael LaPrade was a member of, and many of the congregants donated to ODA last year in his honor. Michael died 14 months ago in a tragic accident while diving on the wreck of the infamous Andrea Doria in the Atlantic Ocean at depths of over 250-feet. This awesome guy was a HUGE part of our dive team and we all miss him immensely. It was great seeing his grandparents, Harvey and Suzanne Prince, and meeting several of his cousins. I definitely learned where Michael got his wonderful sense of humor!
It was a beautiful day, with the temperatures finally dying down, and several hundred people there to celebrate the Jewish New Year.
The Rabbi invited me to give a short talk about ODA. I told them about all the lines we’ve removed this year, and had samples of the lines and nets for all the kids to see for themselves. Everyone was amazed by the fact that the polypropylene lines will last over 450 years and nylon nets over 650.
Educating the Educators
The weekend of the 21st, I participated in the "Ocean Plastic Pollution Summit," organized by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Educator Programs. School teachers from all over California attended this event, and ODA was honored and pleased to be part of this educational effort. Once the teachers understand the depth of the problem (pun intended!), they will be empowered to disseminate the information to their students: all of whom have the potential to be future stewards of the oceans.
All in all it was a great week. I met lots of concerned people, made some new friends, and we removed a bunch of plastic from the ocean.
I offer my thanks to everyone for your efforts and donations that make all of ODA’s important work possible!