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News and Media

News and Media

By Oahu Volunteer Coordinator & ODA Advisory Board Member Marjorie Zensen

When we were at Hālona Cove this weekend hunting for debris, there were so many options to choose from – the “menu” items all looked good, and the nine divers had an appetite to go grab what they could!

Diver briefing

Most of us chose an “entrée” of fishing line with hooks and lead weights on the side. Those who were a bit hungrier chose additional menu items such as chair parts, shredded backpacks, and fishing poles.  Dessert for all was an assortment of unidentifiable “sweets” (otherwise known as miscellaneous trash)!  Hey, it’s sweet to us to be able to remove this stuff out of the beautiful ocean ecosystem!

Here's our fancy destination:

Dive site

The descent to the debris removal siteBut just getting to this fine dining location was a journey in itself.  

Quite the adventure, actually, as it took some of our hunter-divers multiple trips to get all the dive gear including Diver Propulsion Vehicles (DPV) down the steep trail.

Hālona Cove is a special place on the Island of Oahu. Maybe you recognize it from a movie? We routinely see filming going on here.

It's actually the steep cliffs that the fishermen love. They cast their lines from on-high into the deep waters.  However, even though they can be successful, they often loose their fishing gear when a hook gets stuck on a rock or coral.  This is why we retrieve so many yards of fishing line!

Once in the water, it was a rough, but doable swim out of the cove.  The surge was quite active, so we deployed the DPVs right away!

Divers on their way to debris site
Diver removing line

I guarantee you would want to join us if you ever saw a sea turtle with a hook in its mouth, or an eel wrapped and strangled by a fishing line. It's just terrible!  So we are happy to painstakenly remove every bit of floating or entwined fishing line.  It's delicate work!

Diver uses scissors to remove fishing line

It didn’t take long to find our menu for the day, and we all started choosing from the options. 

Diver fills bag with marine debris

Before long I noticed that it was getting a bit more surgy.  Checking our air, some of us with smaller tanks decided our “doggy bags” were filled up and it was time to go.  

The journey back proved to be an after-dinner workout, even with the DPVs, but soon all nine of us were safely on land.

Nothing makes us happier...
Happy to remove dangerous ghost gear!

Once back to shore, even though our appetite for debris was satiated, we knew we were not done though.  At this fine dining location, we had to do the clean up as well!  That’s just not right! But it had to be done.  

All kinds of debris!

So, with all the extra baggage we now had, it took even more trips to climb up the steep trail back to the parking area where we dumped the contents out of our cool canvas ODA bags and looked at our “take-out”! 

ODA Volunteer Crew with Catch of the Day

We were happy to see that about 900 yards of fishing line will no longer be threatening local wildlife.

We were so thankful to have a little extra land assistance as our ODA non-diver Temple Liebmann hung out on the beach, took photos of us getting in and out,  talked to people on the beach about ODA, and helped carry away our feast of debris! Her visiting granddaughter, Evelyn, was a bright little spot in our day as well.

The fine dining guest list:

  • Chad Schmidt
  • Christina Pang
  • Dan Okamura
  • Ed Sisino
  • Gary Liebmann
  • Glenn Roberts
  • Marjorie Zensen
  • Mark England
  • Paul Hasley
  • Temple Liebmann

If you’re hungry for more debris, too, check out our other recent outings on our Hawai’i page and see all of our recent take-out!