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News and Media

News and Media

By Founder and President Kurt Lieber

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage California, Hawai’i has done a good job of containing the spread and our ODA volunteers are more than happy to be able to jump in the ocean.

So happy in fact, that 17 volunteers showed up on a Saturday to do their magic at a dive site minutes from downtown Honolulu.  The area is called Magic Island, and it’s home to the great variety of marine wildlife that thrive in Hawai’i’s waters:  turtles, tangs, butterfly fish, eels, sharks, and pufferfish.

ODA scuba Divers prepare

Ken Staples and Glenn Roberts organized this cleanup, and it was just amazing how many people wanted to help clean this underwater paradise.

Thanks to Sydney for the shore support. The divers were: Brian Barnett, Daniel Boyd, Scott Burrell, Robert Chadwick, Chris Denton, Mark England, Shawn Furness, Ray Goodie, Christina Klemm, Dan Okamura, Christine Pang, Glenn, Chad Schmidt, Ed Sisino, Ken, and Marjorie Zensen.  Wholly mackerel that is a LOT of divers! See them all pictured below.

I had been talking with Ken and Glenn about how these beach cleanups have been going, and they said they could really use some more underwater scooters to help move the divers through the water more quickly.  So, thanks to our wonderful donors, we bought two more. 

Underwater Scooters

Now we have a small fleet of four.  They need these especially because when they come across tires, they need the extra pulling force that the scooters provide.

The new equipment proved its worth on the very first dive. 

Ocean Defender divers in search of ghost geat

Ed Sisino found a tractor tire right near the reef in about 30 feet of water.  He and his dive partner attached a lift bag to it and floated it to the surface.  They then towed it to shore.  Holly moly that’s a BIG one!

Rubber is toxic to ocean wildlife

The entire team worked for over an hour and removed about 200 pounds of all kinds of debris: cans, grocery bags, chip bags, bottles of all shapes and sizes, fishing weights, and of course, fishing lines (about 2,000 feet of it).

ODA Crew with their catch of the day

It was a beautiful Hawaiian day, and the reefs at Magic Island are breathing a little easier now that all that pollution isn’t smothering the corals and benthic life.

Mahalo to Ken and Glenn for taking the initiative to organize this. And boatloads of thanks to everyone who participated!  You gals and guys are AWESOME!!

Please visit our ODA-Hawai'i page to learn more about the ocean cleanup work we do in these Paradise Islands!