By Oahu Volunteer Dive Team Coordinator & U/W Photographer Ken Staples and Dive Team Coordinator Glenn Roberts (both are ODA Advisory Board members)
Aloha! Together with our partners the Waikiki Rotary Club, Nudi Wear, Deco Divers, and the 24th Divarty, ODA-Hawai’i celebrated Earth Day by cleaning up the reef and beach at Magic Island.
Magic Island is a beautiful beach park located in the heart of Honolulu. This beach park is a very popular one for beach goers, surfers, joggers, and divers.
We met at 7:30am to set up. We placed a sign in table adjacent to the parking lot and then set up display tables and tents down by the dive point entry. We had a phenomenal turnout! All together we had 74 volunteers. Of this total, 37 were part of our scuba dive team.
It was nice to see volunteers of all ages pitching in!
Our event officially kicked off at 9:00am. We all gathered, and the beach cleanup group immediately started searching the park and beach for debris.
The dive team set up their scuba gear and readied themselves for the cleanup event. Glenn Roberts gathered our dive team and gave an excellent pre-dive briefing outlining the dive plan strategy and safety protocol for the reef cleanup. We had our four ODA DPVs (Diver Propulsion Vehicles) and several other scooters to help with the cleanup dive and hauling any heavy debris back to the beach.
We also had several safety divers with DPVs to make sure our team was watched over. The Waikiki Rotary club had several volunteers in the water on SUP paddle boards to assist with any heavy debris.
The ocean conditions were good, but underwater visibility of less than 20 feet was on the poor side per Hawai’i standards. The team embarked from the shore in their buddy teams and immediately got to work. We amazed ourselves with the large amount of debris we removed from the reef. In total it was over 600 pounds!
Some of the big finds were 6 tires, a large construction sign, large pieces of wood, a mattress, an anchor, and over 100’ of heavy line. We found plenty of fishing line and lead weights, too. We hauled in 93 plastic bottles, a suitcase, 7 shoes, and a weight pocket lost by a scuba diver many months earlier.
There were plenty of fish on the reef and some of our group even saw a manta ray!
We hauled our debris out of the water and carefully searched for ocean critters that were hitching a ride. We found and released back into the ocean several crabs, star fish, and even a small moray eel. We were then greeted by several news channels and many of us gave interviews on our efforts and the importance of what we do and why we do it. There were smiles all around.
Big mahalos to the Waikiki Rotary Club for coordinating the media event and adding divers to our reef cleanup team. Also, big mahalos to Nudi Wear, Deco Divers, and 24th Divarty for supporting and participating in this Earth Day event. After taking a lot of photos we sorted and counted our debris and then bagged it for the Parks Department to haul away.
Many mahalos to the Parks Division for their continued help and support. Also, huge mahalos to Cindy, Anke, and Marjorie (team ODA) for manning the tables, registration, and taking photos.
If you take a look at the pictures in the photo gallery below, you’ll notice some that stand out from the pack. Those were taken by Jessica Scott. Thank you, Jessica!
Although we were all tired, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day and the opportunity to give back to the ocean and all the marine life and reefs we love to see while diving.
Ken Staples and Glenn Roberts