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News and Media

News and Media

By Founder and President Kurt Lieber

We’ve been getting more calls than ever before about abandoned lobster traps here in So Cal.  Because of all the heavy storms we’ve had for the last six months, hundreds if not thousands of traps have been lost to Poseidon…

One of our volunteers, Abigail Sanford, has been taking notes to keep track of where she’s seen traps along the coast of Santa Barbara.  She’s used our online reporting system to give us a good description of the situation, as well as the GPS location.

Abigail is a student at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB).  She started diving with us a little over a year ago and is passionate about getting these traps out of the water before they can do more harm to wildlife.

Those storms have created waves that are so powerful that they push the traps right up onto the beach.

Lobster trap on beach

Abigail emailed me just before Earth Day and said she had found two more abandoned traps that were right along the beachfront of the university.

So, on Thursday, April 20th, I hopped in my truck and headed up the coast from Ventura to see if we could haul those traps off the beach.  When I got there, we were met by another ODA volunteer Cristina Robinson.

We grabbed a shovel and hand cart, walked down a flight of stairs to get to the beach, and proceeded to dig the first trap out of the sand.

College students help with beach cleanup

Then we went another 200 yards to get the second one. 

Abandoned fishing gear hauled off beach

We also grabbed some bottles that littered the beach, as well as about 25 pounds of a net.  I don’t think the net was for fishing but probably used to stabilize the hillside.  But it was still catching little critters like snails and crabs.

ODA removes net from coast line

It was good to work with these two energetic college students. ODA loves to see young people get involved in helping to steward our coastal waters and beaches!

ODA Volunteer Crew with Catch of the Day

Now Santa Barbara looks a little cleaner and more animals are out of harm’s way!

Check out our report from earlier this month when we carted away 15 lobster traps from another Santa Barbara beach!