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News and Media

News and Media

By Oahu Dive Team Leader & ODA Advisory Board Member Glenn Roberts

This was our second cleanup event at Poka’i Bay. Be sure to check out the photo gallery at the end to get the ENTIRE picture of our day!

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It was a combined shore and reef cleanup and our event partner was Aaron's Dive Shop.

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The entire week leading up to the event was wet and windy so we weren't confident we'd be able to make it happen. But the weather finally cleared, and it was a beautiful day on the Waianae Coast of Oahu.

The turnout was respectable considering uncertainty around the weather. We had eight divers who worked on cleaning up the reef around the breakwater.

Glenn Roberts of ODA gives the cleanup orientationGlenn Roberts of ODA gives the cleanup orientation

Seven other volunteers focused on trash and debris on the breakwater and around the beach park.

ODA Shore crew

Our volunteers this day were Mark England, Crystal Gray (also photography), Corey Nevels, and Marjorie Zenson along with Gary and Temple Liebmann and me from ODA (the last three of us mentioned organized the event). Aaron’s lead was Alexandria Fiew who was joined by other enthusiastic volunteers: Jennifer Booker, Jethro Yecina, Ellie Jones, Lara Noran, Villian Pickers, and Riley Percy.

We were so fortunate to have Crystal documenting the underwater world again!

Clearly there was a lot of random debris for our team to remove. This was not our divers' blanket! ;-)

UW Debris that ODA removed

Look at this beautiful "pencil urchin" that Crystal's eagle eye discovered. Entangled in fishing line! But not for long with ODA around!

Pencil urchin entangled in ghost gear

The ODA dive team worked diligently to disentable flora like you see above. It's not easy or quick work, but it's worth it!

Check out this married couple (below) Marjorie Zensen and Mark England. They not only love each other, they love Hawai'i and her coastal waters and they love defending the oceans together.

UW Diver removing debris Marjorie
UW Diver removing debris Mark

Speaking of Marjorie, in this video you can see her working painstakingly to extricate the derelict fishing line from the urchin. And a bonus sighting! A sea turtle pays the crew a visit. Check out the 1:13-minute video clip.

There are more fantastic photos in the gallery below, but we have to end our underwater series with this spectacular show of a pencil urchin colony. Nice work capturing this beauty, Crystal!

UW Pencil urchin colony

The happy faces of the ODA crew say it all. We couldn't be happier than when we see piles like this out of the delicate underwater ecosystem and on its way to proper disposal. Thank you to all the ODA supporters for making this happen!

ODA Ocean Conservation Crew with the Catch of the Day

The debris we hauled out was a mixed collection including one tire, a mattress, a lot of plastic bottles, about 400 yards of fishing line, 30 pounds of fishing weights, abandoned snorkel gear, and other assorted debris.

Marine debris, trash, and ghost gear collected by ODA

The bay in front of the breakwater is pretty small and the Makaha Canoe Club was having a big keiki event with a lot of outrigger canoes in the water sometimes getting close to our divers. We went to talk with them about safety and observing our dive flags. The organizers were so gracious and understanding, announcing to the kids in the boats that they needed to be careful around our volunteer divers. They were great and some of the kids helped our divers coming out of the water by grabbing debris bags and even carrying one diver's entire scuba rig up the beach. Very classy and thoughtful. Those parents should be proud!

To round out our day, we got a greeting from a passing by honu turtle!

Honu turtle

We’ll be back at Poka’i soon. We feel so welcomed there. In the meantime we're planning to hit a favorite site on the east side of Oahu called Hālona Blowhole. Stay tuned for more on that!

If you live in Hawaii and would like to join in on an ocean cleanup, please check out our Hawai'i Volunteer Activities page!