Our foundational roots are in Southern California.
The organization was formed there in 2000 when Kurt Lieber was made aware of the great need for the oceans to be cleaned of abandoned fishing gear and all kinds of debris including plastic and other trash that makes its way to the ocean from inland waterways.
He started rallying like-minded ocean conservationists to come together and start this cleaning adventure from right in their own “backyard”: The Pacific Ocean.
ODA remains active off the coasts of the following counties: Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, and Ventura, and has done sporadic work north of there.
The main problems we see in California include abandoned fishing gear and plastic trash. The fishing industry is active in the coastal waters, so we see a large quantity of lost commercial fishing equipment including line, nets of all kinds, ropes, and multiple types of traps.
Here are some of the faces of ODA California. We are thankful to work with so many dedicated, energetic, and highly skilled people.
Our current flagship is Mr. Barker’s LegaSea donated to ODA by the TV celebrity and animal champion Bob Barker. We also use RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) to help retrieve ghost gear that our SCUBA divers send to the surface.
The LegaSea is docked part of the year in these two locations: Southern California (San Pedro) and Ventura County (Channel Islands). These positions allow us the flexibility to cover a lot of debris sites.
We invite you to check out our other main area of work: Hawai’i
If you’ve already read about our Hawai’i chapter, have a look at the some of the ways you can get involved.
Feb 25, 2021 - Proof Positive that Marine Protected Areas Work
Feb 9, 2021 - A Super Sunday for Marsh Defenders & Wildlife Rescuers
Feb 2, 2021 - ‘Protected’ marsh and its wildlife needed defending by ODA
Jan 25, 2021 - National Wildlife Refuge or national disgrace?
Jan 21, 2021 - Humpback Whale and the Trail of Trash
Jan 12, 2021 - Coho Salmon Dying from Chemical in Tires
Nov 18, 2020 - Hoop Nets Removed and Riverbed Cleaned
Nov 2, 2020 - Despite the Fog, Santa Cruz & Anacapa Islands Reveal Many Lobster Traps
Oct 26, 2020 - Trap Tracker Data Drive Delivers
Oct 21, 2020 - Beautiful Coastal Waters Become a Dangerous ‘Jungle’ for Whales
Oct 16, 2020 - Tracking Traps in Order to Give Whales Safe Passage
Sep 30, 2020 - Environmental Crimes Against Our Oceans
Sep 23, 2020 - Clearing Abandoned Lobster Traps Before Legal Hunting Begins
Sep 18, 2020 - World Clean Up Day with Inspiration from ODA Friend Laura Angelini
Sep 14, 2020 - Ghost Net Hit and Run
Sep 1, 2020 - Limited Visibility on Seven-mile Wall Crawl Doesn’t Stop Dive Crew
Aug 28, 2020 - Adopt-a-Channel Project Continues
Aug 20, 2020 - Continued Success Finding Ghost Gear on the Seven-mile Wall Crawl
Aug 18, 2020 - Let’s not forget about the Plastic Plague!
Aug 4, 2020 - Will the Whales of the Pacific Ever Get to Breathe a Sigh of Relief?
Jul 21, 2020 - Working with Fishermen to Remove Harmful Marine Debris
Jul 7, 2020 - California Considers New Regulations to Promote Ropeless Traps
Jun 9, 2020 - Seven-mile Wall Crawl for Ocean Debris Begins
Jun 3, 2020 - Seven Lobster Traps Out of Harm’s Way
May 22, 2020 - ODA Works for Ocean Biodiversity Every Day
May 7, 2020 - All Systems Go…for Ocean Debris Removal
Apr 28, 2020 - Individuals in Our Alliance Defend the Oceans
Apr 15, 2020 - ODA Technical Diver Featured Guest on UTD Scuba Diving Podcast
Mar 21, 2020 - So Much Ocean Defending Work to Do
Mar 2, 2020 - ‘Fog’ Boat Wreck Continues to Snag Debris
Jan 21, 2020 - The Microplastic Pollution Problem
Nov 27, 2019 - Giant Black Sea Bass Are Protected by ODA
Nov 5, 2019 - ODA Volunteers Clean Our Adopted ‘Flood-Control’ Channel
Oct 28, 2019 - Determined Defenders Get Their Debris
Oct 23, 2019 - Anchors Away and A Lot of Other Debris Too
Oct 8, 2019 - California Waters Cough Up Derelict Fishing Gear
Oct 3, 2019 - Future Ocean Defenders
Sep 25, 2019 - Coyote Creek Channel Cleanup
Sep 23, 2019 - A Heavy Day for All Divers / ODA Divers Haul Heavy Load
Aug 15, 2019 - Channel Islands Maritime Museum Exhibit About ODA
Aug 12, 2019 - The Net Worth of Ghost Net is Priceless
Aug 6, 2019 - Killer Nets Hang Onto Sunken Boat Wreck
Jul 23, 2019 - Abandoned Fishing Nets No Longer Ensnare Marine Life
Jul 9, 2019 - Dangerous Debris Collects Around Sunken Vessels
Jul 2, 2019 - Defending Ocean Life with Compassion Over Killing
Jun 21, 2019 - Different Ways to Defend the Ocean
Jun 13, 2019 - World Oceans Day is Busy for ODA-Hawaii
Jun 4, 2019 - Sunken Boat - and ODA Crew - Snag Marine Debris
May 21, 2019 - Dockside Dinner for the Oceans
Apr 17, 2019 - Ghost Gear Removed from Southern California Coastal Waters
Apr 2, 2019 - Preparation is Key
Mar 25, 2019 - ‘Twas Ladies Day on the ol’ LegaSea
Mar 1, 2019 - Middle School Students Already Defending the Oceans
Feb 26, 2019 - It Wasn’t ‘The Last Straw’ at Bolsa Chica Beach
Feb 18, 2019 - Bolsa Chica Beach Relieved of Debris
Feb 12, 2019 - Volunteers Needed to Clean Sunset Beach CA
Feb 5, 2019 - Seal Beach Cleanup Opportunity
Dec 20, 2018 - Shoreline Cleanup at Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge
Dec 19, 2018 - The Tale of the Malibu Crab Trap
Dec 12, 2018 - Beach Cleanup in Southern California
Dec 4, 2018 - Northern California Crab Traps Tracked by ODA
Nov 28, 2018 - ODA Tracks Traps in Central California
Nov 12, 2018 - Squid and Gill Nets Cleared from Artificial Reef
Oct 17, 2018 - Captain Kurt to Give Talk at Burroughs Nature Club
Oct 10, 2018 - So Cal Underwater Radio Tower Gets Cleaned
Sep 18, 2018 - Net Loss for the Ocean is Actually a Net Gain
Sep 13, 2018 - Sometimes the Easy Jobs are the Hardest
Aug 24, 2018 - A Tale of Two Cleanups
Aug 13, 2018 - Laguna California Waters Safer for Marine Wildlife
Jul 18, 2018 - Cleaning the Breakwall of Los Angeles Harbor
Jul 9, 2018 - Sunken Vessel Collects Marine Debris – ODA Removes It
Jun 29, 2018 - Trap and All Kinds of Debris Removed from So Cal Waters
Jun 13, 2018 - Marine Protected Area Cleaned by ODA
Jun 7, 2018 - Southern California Ghost Gear Recovery
May 23, 2018 - Killer Traps Kill No More
May 15, 2018 - Derelict Fishing Gear Removed from Huntington Harbor
Apr 19, 2018 - Students Using ROV Assist with Marine Debris Removal
Apr 17, 2018 - Dockside Dinner and Drinks 2018
Apr 2, 2018 - Testing, Training, Trap Tracking and Removal
Mar 6, 2018 - Dockside Dinner & Drinks
Feb 28, 2018 - Whale Disentanglement Team (WET) Continues Training ODA
Feb 8, 2018 - Tracking Traps to Protect Whales and All Marine Life
Jan 31, 2018 - So Cal Plastic Patrol Cleans Birds' Ocean Habitat
Jan 22, 2018 - Cleaning Our Waterways: ODA’s New Adopt A Channel
Nov 30, 2017 - ODA’s Trap Trackers are clearing the way for whales in Laguna Beach!
Nov 1, 2017 - ODA Trains with the NOAA Whale Entanglement Team
Oct 19, 2017 - Seal Beach Nat'l Wildlife Refuge’s Special Cleanup a Success
Oct 5, 2017 - Wetlands Cleanup at Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge
Sep 26, 2017 - Humpback Whale Killed by Derelict Fishing Gear
Aug 17, 2017 - Lawsuit to End Whale, Sea Turtle Entanglements in California Dungeness Crab Gear
Jul 31, 2017 - Busy Summer Days at ODA
Jul 11, 2017 - National Marine Sanctuaries – No New Review Needed
Jun 13, 2017 - Fishing Site Loaded with Dangerous Ghost Gear
Jun 9, 2017 - The Great Big Story
Jun 8, 2017 - New and Veteran Volunteers Remove Debris from LA Harbor
May 31, 2017 - Alliance Actions Abound
Apr 25, 2017 - Jeff Larson, We'll Miss You – a Friend to the Oceans and ODA
Apr 18, 2017 - Abandoned Lobster Traps Removed
Apr 12, 2017 - Women’s Sailing Association - Orange County - an ODA Presentation
Apr 11, 2017 - Channeling Debris from the Channel
Apr 3, 2017 - ODA Searches for Gray Whale Entangled in Ghost Gear
Mar 14, 2017 - Cleanup at Bolsa Chica Channel
Mar 6, 2017 - 600 Pounds of Plastic Debris ‘Put in its Place’
Feb 14, 2017 - Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge Cleanup Effort Continues
Feb 7, 2017 - Wetlands More Habitable Now
Jan 31, 2017 - Huntington Beach Harbor Clean-up Under Way
Jan 26, 2017 - Plastic Patrol Plea for Partners
Jan 16, 2017 - A Plastic Ocean
Jan 11, 2017 - Cleaning Newport Beach Waters of Hazardous Debris
Dec 22, 2016 - Holiday Gifts for the Oceans
Dec 13, 2016 - Abandoned Squid Net Kills No More
Nov 28, 2016 - Set Out for Net and Scored Traps Instead!
Nov 21, 2016 - Celebrate Good Times…and Clean Oceans
Oct 20, 2016 - Fishing Gear Entangles Whale
Sep 6, 2016 - Orange Slices TV Show Features Ocean Defenders Alliance
Aug 17, 2016 - Ghost Gear Removed Means More Healthy Ocean Life
Aug 8, 2016 - Eyes on the Water
Aug 4, 2016 - Back in Action!: Anacapa Island Lobster Traps Removed
Jul 6, 2016 - Wetlands Plastic Debris - Your ODA Team is on the Job
Jun 30, 2016 - NBC Los Angeles Covers ODA Efforts to Save Whales
Jun 28, 2016 - Whale Entanglements: A preventable problem
Jun 15, 2016 - Hauling and stalling in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
Jun 5, 2016 - Defending marine life for World Oceans Day!
May 25, 2016 - To save our salty ocean friends!
May 18, 2016 - End drift net killing! Urgent call to Action for all Ocean Defenders and Allies!
Apr 12, 2016 - Spring cleaning and a change of scenery
Mar 28, 2016 - Spring Cleaning for the Ocean
Feb 11, 2016 - Super Haul Sunday
Jan 31, 2016 - Droning on About Efficiency