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News and Media

News and Media

By Oahu Volunteer Dive Team Coordinator & U/W Photographer Ken Staples

SupporterOcean Defenders Alliance Hawai’i (ODA-HI) had a jam-packed and exciting World Ocean Day!

Have you heard of this special day?

Well, I’ll tell ya about it! World Oceans Day is an annual celebration held on June 8th to better understand and appreciate the earth's oceans. The United Nations first recognized World Oceans Day in 2008 although prior to that nonprofits had been celebrating the day for six years.

ODA-HI Multi-Island Day

Event 1. World Oceans Day at Hapuna Beach State Park, Big Island

We kicked off our celebration of this special day at Hapuna Beach State Park on the Big Island.

Hapuna beach cleanup

ODA-HI, along with other nonprofit organizations, started at 7:30 am with a massive beach cleanup. We had over 80 volunteers show up for this event.

Following the cleanup, there were 12+ booths set up with representatives from a variety of different conservation perspectives to talk to people about Hawaii’s incredible ocean resources and how to get involved and care for them.

ODA info booth

I was able to speak with dozens of interested people of all ages (from young kids to adults) about our mission and what we do. They were fascinated! I heard over and over, “Glad you guys are taking care of the debris on the reefs under the water. No one else does that.”

To help illustrate our methods of debris removal, I had multiple photos showing what ODA does. It was excellent publicity for us, and it was uplifting to know that the people of Big Island are grateful for our work there.

I had to leave at noon to catch my flight back to Oahu....for event number two....

Event 2. World Oceans Day at Marriott Ko Olina on Oahu’s West side

After flying in from Big Island, I immediately headed west for the event at Ko Olina which started at 4:00pm.

I arrived and set up my table with banners, pictures, and debris samples. There were hundreds of people at this event and two huge tents for the exhibitors.

ODA information table

For the ODA information table, it was nonstop people (locals and tourists from around the globe) for three hours. Lots of kids and adults alike were very interested in what we do and fascinated by our process. I fielded lots of questions on how to be a part of the ODA, and met representatives of three schools that want me to present to their students (1 middle school, 1 high school, and 1 university).

Ken StaplesIt was a great day and finally came to a close when Ko Olina started showing the Little Mermaid on a huge outdoor screen.

I didn’t take an official survey, but there’s no question our work is valuable and appreciated by the locals and tourists alike.

So, if you love our oceans and Hawai’i please be an ocean cleanup champion by giving a gift to support debris removal and/or volunteering on one of our outings!