By Founder and President Kurt Lieber
I am very proud to announce that you, the supporters and crew of Ocean Defenders Alliance, are now able to help clean the vibrant waters of the Hawaiian Islands!
Today we formalized our new ODA Hawai’i chapter (ODA-HI) with a meeting at Waianae Harbor onboard the vessel we will be using for local debris removal expeditions. Present were our ODA-HI Captain Mash Hatae, legal advisor Steve Boreman, and underwater videographer Ray Hollowell.
These three dedicated gentlemen are on our ODA Advisory Board as well, and I greatly appreciate the expertise each contributes to sustaining and growing our mission for a debris-free sea.
For all the details, please read the Press Release (directly below) we sent to the media today.
Ocean Defenders Alliance new Hawai’i chapter to protect local marine life
March 18, 2016, Honolulu, HI – The nonprofit Ocean Defenders Alliance (ODA) announces the expansion of their marine debris removal program into the Hawaiian Islands. Today, ODA’s first voyage in Oahu, aboard the vessel “Sea Dreams II” which is owned by Hawaii Nautical and skippered by local Captain and ocean enthusiast Mash Hatae—was delayed due to weather. However: the boat and crew are still ready to share their mission, goals, equipment, and passion.
You are invited to meet with them, explore the boat, and learn about this important work.
Since 2000, ODA has protected near-shore ocean ecosystems in California by removing dangerous man-made objects from them. With volunteer divers, ODA locates abandoned fishing gear and—using boats as dive platforms—deploys divers at each location to cut the gear loose and float it to the surface where it is hauled on deck for proper disposal ashore.
Today Ocean Defenders Alliance Hawaii planned to launch its maiden voyage out of Oahu’s Waianae Harbor. During this initial “reconnaissance expedition” the crew would search for and remove debris of all types: abandoned fishing gear and nets (“ghost gear”), plastics, and other garbage. This will still happen soon, weather permitting, and as they grow their team and learn where marine debris tends to accumulate in this region—the fledgling ODA Hawai’i will execute ever more conservation actions.
ODA Founder and President Kurt Lieber said, “We are thankful for the partnership offered ODA by Doug Ewalt and Hawai’i Nautical. Their generous donation of the use of a boat for ODA’s marine debris operations will create a deep and positive impact. Together we will save Hawaiian marine life and habitats, and with the help of other locals this work will not only benefit ocean wildlife: it will offer future generations of islanders—like Captain Hatae’s young daughter—cleaner oceans and a healthier future.”
ODA acknowledges and thanks the following members of its Advisory Board, all of whom are key to the success of ODA Hawai’i:
- Captain Mash Hatae: a long-time resident of Oahu; Hawai’i Nautical dive and whale watching expedition captain for four years; dive master; professional photographer.
- Steve Boreman: attorney with connections to University of HI law school (Mash’s uncle!).
- Ray Hollowell: 21-year resident of Oahu; underwater videographer; long-time ocean conservationist; president of PlanSea TV.
ODA is volunteer driven, and the public is invited to support these life-saving, nonprofit efforts!
Please continue and read about our inaugural activities there...