By Oahu Volunteer Coordinator & ODA Advisory Board Member Marjorie Zensen
Where do I begin, to tell the story of how great these volunteers have been…
If you’re old enough, you might be singing that along with me (probably chuckling at my lyric updates)!
Seriously, these two amazing people – long-time partners Deborah Kaawalauole-Townsend and Terry Carwile – are such a treasure to ODA and the oceans.
I’d like to share the story of how they’ve made an impact for clean oceans with ODA.
During COVID, because of modified work schedules, my friend Deb asked if I would take her snorkeling. I made sure she understood that I don’t just snorkel. After just a time or two “snorkeling” together, she was an ocean defender, too, cleaning like a pro, finding that sometimes hard-to-see fishing line strung across the reef. At times it would take the two of us to gather, wrangle, and roll-up the line because there was so much!
Once covid restrictions were eased and she went back to working long hours, I would see her on daily walks, bent over, gripper in hand, picking up trash!
Around this time, Deb and Terry started joining in on ODA cleanups around Oahu like the He’eia Pier and Waiahole Park cleanups.
The picture I'm sharing to the left is not of her in our neighborhood, but rather, she was on a trip visiting Santa Monica, California. Sure enough, she found time to clean their beach!
You can see by the photos – Terry has a great sense of humor which helps keep spirits lifted during back-breaking cleanups!
They also joined me and my husband Mark England in September of 2022 to remove a tire, fishing line, and lead weights that Deb discovered in the waters near Kailua Beach.
Deb and Terry are the kind of volunteers any organization would love to have. They are self-sufficient people who don’t hesitate to get any task done that’s asked of them. But actually, I don’t even have to give them tasks! They are self-motivated. They find what needs to be done and they do it!
We’re really fortunate to have them here in Oahu with us. Deb is originally from Hawai’i, but her dad was in the military and so a family move took her from the islands long ago. She came back to Oahu with Terry a few years back. Thankfully, they both were able to get a job transfer out here! Like me and Mark, I don’t think they are leaving the islands!
Interestingly enough, they are certified divers but haven’t dove in years. Still, on any given evening, as I drive home, I’ll see them out and about picking up trash!
Deb and Terry – your care for our environment, energy, and enthusiasm are an inspiration to us all. Thank you for all you do, and we look forward to doing more good work together!
If you'd like to join up with people like Deb and Terry who love to have fun while helping our oceans, please check out our Volunteer page and email us at email@example.com