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