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Where We Work

Where We Work

In general, the Hawaiian Islands are known as the “paradise islands.” We agree they’re incredibly beautiful.  These islands deserve our stewardship and care especially because their beaches and waters are marred by abandoned fishing gear—both commercial and recreational—as well as plastic and “gyre-type” pollution.

In 2016, due to the great need for ocean cleanups, Ocean Defender Alliance (ODA) began working in Hawai'i. We kicked off our debris-removal work in Oahu with the help of long-time friend Stephen Boreman, Esq., his nephew Mash Hatae, Vicki Szymczak, and friends from the University of Hawai’i who are very concerned about the health of their local waters.

Since that time, ODA-Hawai'i has expanded significantly, with dozens of volunteers participating in ocean cleanups on Oahu and the Big Island, with Maui to be added in early 2022.

Debris

Because the coastal waters of Hawai'i are generally very deep, it’s quite different from the work we do off the coast of California where we can dive 35-100 feet and remove debris that’s sitting on the ocean floor.

The way the ocean currents flow, most ghost gear collects in the Pacific Gyre (garbage patch), but some spins out and washes ashore. Often, we remove very large quantities of fishing net from beaches along with fishing ropes and other garbage. Occasionally, we also find fishing equipment such as nets floating at sea, and regularly we find recreational fishing lines and toxic lead weights on the coral-laiden underwater cliffs and near-shore bottoms. ODA-Hawai'i is also expert at removing debris from harbors, bays, and inlets.

 

 

 

Boats & Strategic Partners

In Hawai'i, rather than own and keep vessels (which means high costs for purchasing, maintenance, and moorage), we partner with four reputable dive companies (in alpha order by island):

  1. Oahu: Aaron's Dive Shop, Warren Murray (owner). Vessek Na Makana.
  2. Oahu: Island Divers Hawaii, Matt Zimmerman (owner). Vessels Sea Fox.and South Seas II
  3. Big Island: Body Glove Hawaii. Vessel Kona Explorer.
  4. Big Island: Jack’s Diving Locker, Teri & Jeff Leicher (co-owners). Vessel Diver Two.
  5. Big Island: Kohala Divers, Rebekah and Greg Kaufmann (co-owners). Vessel Kohala Diver.
  6. Big Island: Kona Honu Divers, Byron Kay (owner). Vessel Honu One.
  7. Maui: Prodiver Maui, Michael Dougan (owner). Vessel Pro Diver III.

We are fortunate to have these excellent partners who truly care about the local waters. We work from their boats and they help connect us with people who want to give back to the oceans.

 

 

 

People

We’re thankful there are so many people in Hawai’i who are passionate about their coastal waters!

On the Big Island, as mentioned above, we enjoy working with three dive companies (Jack’s Diving Locker, Kohala, and Kona Honu Divers) cleaning both debris from harbors and at sea.

Our monthly dives in Oahu waters from the Island Divers Hawai’i boat always see full crews; we’ve had over a hundred different divers participate.  Our Oahu coordinators and Advisory Board Members are Glenn Roberts (Dive team coordinator) and Marjorie Zenson.

 

 

 

Places

In Hawai'i, we work regularly in the waters and on the beaches of the Islands of Hawai'i, Maui, and Oahu.

Some of our regular cleanup sites:

Island of Hawai'i:
Deep Step
Honokohau Harbor
Kailua Pier
Kawaihae - three sites
Kawaihae Harbor
Keahole Point
Kealakekua - multiple sites
Kohala Coast
Outhouse
Spencer Beach
Tako City / Sand Chute

Maui:
Dragon’s Teeth at Makaluapuna Point
La Perouse Bay
McGregor
Papwai

Oahu:
China Walls, Fishing Camp
Hālona Blowhole
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
He'eia Pier, Kaneohe Bay
Magic Island
Poka'i Bay
Waiahole Beach Park


Volunteer Opportunities

Be sure to sign-up for our email list so we can let you know when opportunities to participate in ODA cleanups arise.

Also, you can regularly check the list of volunteer opportunities on our ODA-Hawai'i Activities page.

 

We’d love to have your help in Hawai'i, whether on a beach or on a boat or helping with outreach. Check out all the types of volunteering on our Get Involved page.

If you haven’t already explored our California page, we invite you to do so.

 

Hawai'i Articles

 

 

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