Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches

by Ocean Defenders Alliance
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Clean-Up Tons of Debris from the Ocean & Beaches
Just a few of the hardy vols at Honokohau Harbor!
Just a few of the hardy vols at Honokohau Harbor!

I hope this year is shaping up to be a better one for you and hope you're doing well! :-)

Thanks to your support, we've been able to ramp up our activities here at ODA! We've had 25 ocean-cleaning outings so far in 2021 and have lots of plans for a busy summer of debris removal.

In Hawai'i, our teams have performed multiple types of cleanups in mulitple locations! Here area few highlights:

Oahu:

  • Monthly debris-removal outings at sea have resumed on our partner Island Divers Hawaii's vessel.
  • We're making plans for regular cleanups at Kaneohe and Hanauma Bays. Can't wait to start!
  • We had 74 volunteers help clean the beach and underwater at Magic Island. It was a great team effort wth our partners Waikiki Rotary Club, Nudi Wear, Deco Divers, and US Army's 24th Divarty.

Big Island:

  • With our partners Kohala Divers, we had 17 volunteers help clean Kawaihae Harbor (our 3rd time here).
  • Our Honokohau Harbor cleanup with partner Jack's Diving Locker was a huge success with 30 volunteers hauling out almost two tons of debris including 16 toxic rubber tires!

In California, in between wildlife refuge cleaning and lobster trap removals, we were able to purchase an important piece of equipment called an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) which will help save us precious time locating underwater debris. The crew has been conducting training so that we'll be able to use it this summer.

We moved our flagship vessel Mr. Barker's LegaSea north to Ventura County so we can work in the Channel Islands. ODA is fortunate to have the blessing of local officials to be allowed to help clean the precious waters of the California Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary which consists of thirteen Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) around the five islands of the Channel Islands National Park. Stay tuned for reports of ghost gear removal and safe habitats restored. With your support, we can make the oceans safer for marine wildlife like whales, turtles, sea birds, and many more.

I know you're busy, so I'll wrap up here and say on behalf of all of the crews and the ocean wildlife you help: THANK YOU for your super support! The oceans are fortunate to have a defender like you on their side and we're glad you're on our team.

For clean and healthy oceans,
Kurt Lieber
Founder & President

P.S. Here are links to two pages where you can check out articles on all the ocean-saving work that's been happening: California news articles and Hawaii news articles.

We clean beaches as well as diving from boats!
We clean beaches as well as diving from boats!
The day debris disappeared at Magic Beach ;-)
The day debris disappeared at Magic Beach ;-)
ODA-CA are the experts at removing hazardous traps
ODA-CA are the experts at removing hazardous traps
ODA-HI Oahu crew removes fishing line from coral
ODA-HI Oahu crew removes fishing line from coral

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
ODA-Hawai'i crew dive to remove ghost gear (FAD)
ODA-Hawai'i crew dive to remove ghost gear (FAD)

Happy New Year to you and thank you for caring about ocean wildlife and their habitat!
 
I hope this email finds you and yours healthy and well.
 
Your support through our GlobalGiving ocean clean-up campaign has been vital during a challenging time in our world. It’s critical that ODA continues our debris-removal work without interruption because ghost gear and plastic trash builds up in coastal waters no matter what’s happening on land! With your help, we work to alleviate the suffering of ocean wildlife and their habitats caused by this man-made pollution.

In a minute, I’ll share our 2020 results with you, but I want to let you know what’s coming up imminently for your favorite defenders of the ocean. In California waters, lobster season closes at the end of February, so we expect to have a busy Spring, removing illegal and abandoned traps before they imprison unsuspecting wildlife.  We plan to temporarily relocate our flagship Mr. Barker’s LegaSea to the coast of Ventura because a couple of reliable sources have given us the locations of abandoned lobster traps in the area.

In Hawai’i, our Oahu crew continues monthly debris-removal dives from our partner Island Divers Hawaii’s boat. ODA-HI also assesses incoming reports of debris from concerned citizens and will take action on as many as possible (see mention of most recent below).

You’ll be happy to know, this year we’ve already conducted 9 debris-removal outings in less than 2 months!
 
And we’re able to do that because you’re the wind in our sails. Truly, you’re our onshore partner and we appreciate you “sailing” with us during the pandemic and rocky financial times.

Speaking of tough times, even though the pandemic seriously affected our operations in 2020, we still made headway in the battle against marine debris. Your dedicated crews removed lots of deadly/toxic debris last year, in many cases from sensitive areas.
 
Let’s look at the 2020 numbers:

  • Polluting plastic debris: 6,798 pounds
  • Misc ocean-damaging debris: 1,145 pounds
  • Deadly traps (all types): 20
  • Two types of “ghost gear” almost invisible to marine life:
    • Derelict net: 2,940 pounds
    • Fishing line: 10,900 feet (most removed from reefs, where it entangles animals and releases toxins)
  • Poisonous lead fishing weights: 2,376 pounds
  • Mylar balloons: 21

So far this year:

  • Our Southern California volunteers have been working like crazy to clean the marshlands of the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge. We were thrilled to disentangle a beautiful curlew (shorebird) from some fishing line and watch her fly away! (Link below)
  • In Hawai’i, our crews have been busy with the removal of two Fishing Aggregate Devices (FADs), doing cleanups at new sites like Magic Island, and hitting some spots that need continuous cleaning like Hanauma Bay and Spitting Caves. (Link below)

Thanks so much for continuing to be our champion onshore! You’re an important part of our crew, for sure. Our wonderful alliance is saving lives!
 
One more new thing happened this year! Have you heard about the uptick in cryptocurrency usage? It was going strong already, but then Elon Musk made a large investment which appears to have further escalated the value and interest in this type of currency. Why do I mention this? ODA is now accepting donations in cryptocurrency! We partnered with a great company that’s helping us accept it and cash it in.  So if you're a digital warrior (or just technologically evolved) and inclined to support marine conservation with crypto -- please check out our new crypto page.
 
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you, your care for the oceans, and your support. Together we’re effectively fighting the relentless tide of man-made marine debris!
 
For clean and healthy oceans,
Kurt

Kurt Lieber
Founder & President

P.S. Looking forward to doing great things together this year!

Thanks guys! Illegal FAD will no longer kill fish.
Thanks guys! Illegal FAD will no longer kill fish.
ODA-HI Oahu crew removes fishing line from coral.
ODA-HI Oahu crew removes fishing line from coral.
Magic Island gets cleaned of debris by ODA-HI!
Magic Island gets cleaned of debris by ODA-HI!
Calif wildlife refuge cleanup very successful!
Calif wildlife refuge cleanup very successful!
More work in wildlife refuge-much trash to remove!
More work in wildlife refuge-much trash to remove!
Nets & all kinds of trash removed by ODA-HI
Nets & all kinds of trash removed by ODA-HI
Shorebird gets freed from fishing line by ODA-CA!
Shorebird gets freed from fishing line by ODA-CA!
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Crew with catch of the day
Crew with catch of the day

Ahoy, friend and wonderful supporter! We hope this update finds you doing well during this unique time.

While most of the news we read every day goes from bad to worse (to downright depressing) at times, there IS some good news out there as well – and we’re here to offer you more of it!  

To begin with, as most countries shut down non-essential travel and public gatherings, global wildlife gets to breathe a sigh of relief as people stay at home to keep themselves and others healthy.

These are trying times for everyone, and it’s no different for ODA volunteers. We’re always itching to remove more marine debris, but we have many successes to share with you from the last few months!

So here is the good news we’ve collected for you…

  • In July, we head out just outside Los Angeles Harbor with a skeleton crew of 2 divers and a deckhand.  ODA’s small team removed 40 pounds of deadly debris.  After much consideration and planning, this outing gave us the confidence to resume our cleanup operations, just adjusted for safety with fewer people onboard
  • Early August: Our Founder and Captain, Kurt Lieber, had the opportunity to address the commissioners on the California Fish and Game Commission (CF&G).  He shared video and discussed marine debris and whale entanglements knowledge gained over the past 20 years (link below). Our video and presentation were very well received at the CF&G meeting. This is a HUGE step in the right direction and reinforces the value that our science and documentation bring to the table. View some of the images he shared here.
  • We never forget the plastic plague. So, when an ODA volunteer and board member mentioned debris along a bike path along and over the Santa Clara River, we jumped into action. Several volunteers worked for two hours removing about 70 pounds of plastics. This debris was mostly single use items: food wrappers, straws, cups and lids, water bottles and caps, and of course, hundreds of cigarette butts (ew, right?)…. You can read more about that great day here.
  • In the battle to put an end to the injury and death of marine animals – especially whales – ODA is building a dataset of information to show when and where high concentrations of traps are set each year. Our teams have made several outings to collect more data in the defense of marine critters. Our project is called Trap Trackers. You can learn more about our program in this article.

ODA is committed to cleaning our oceans through small-crew (COVID-safe) boat outings; beach, harbor, and channel cleanups; scientific studies; and educational outreach!

There’s much work to be done to achieve a debris-free sea and we appreciate you partnering with us to ensure it happens. Thank YOU!

To be continued…

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Dynamic duo-our smallest crew ever during COVID-19
Dynamic duo-our smallest crew ever during COVID-19

Our first wish is that you, our wonderful supporter, and other fellow ocean conservationists are doing well during this time of global pandemic. You're in our thoughts!

Usually, our reports are jam-packed with success stories and impressive statistics of marine debris removed. However, during this spring and early summer, the global pandemic has marginalized our efforts. The need for distancing has prevented the majority of our debris-removal work because, when on our boats, we operate in close quarters.

However, we're happy to report that we've had success in several efforts, and we're pleased to tell you about them.

Boats can be a challenge to maintain and they need to be run regularly. We needed to check the systems on our flagship the LegaSea, and thankfully, we found a way to get around the need to social-distance on the boat! We had only two of our experienced crewmembers come out on the boat with Captain Lieber. The reason this worked? Those two people were a married couple, so no need to distance there! You can see from the pictures in the article we posted, Captain Kurt was able to stay far away doing his captain's work on the bridge, while Jeff and Sue removed trash from the ocean.

In Hawai'i, several of our dedicated volunteers were able to conduct debris-removal dives at three different sites, and successfully removed fishing lines, ropes, hooks, and lead weights. Way to go guys. :-)

In California, two of our veteran crewmembers were out on the water for some paddle-boarding and spotted illegal lobster traps. They got the trap identification and reported this to Captain Lieber who immediately notified his contacts at the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DF&W). Amazingly, because of our reporting, they were able to remove seven deadly lobster traps! It pays to remain vigilant. Please let us know if you ever see any marine debris!

When early June came, we felt we could safely do a debris-removal dive with a small crew. This time four people went out with Captain Lieber to initiate our new project the "Seven-mile Wall Crawl." Our plan is to remove abandoned lobster traps along the seven-mile breakwall that protects the Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbor. On this particular day, we didn't snag a trap but the crew did haul out three anchors, some anchor chain, and rope. As soon as the lockdown eases up, we'll be back out there to remove the ghost gear that we're sure is present at this known fishing site!

One more positive to share with you: Captain Kurt Lieber was invited to be a guest presenter at our dive shop partner Jack's Diving Locker's annual Ocean Fair. They were quite creative and did the event online. It was a great success and Kurt was honored to be featured along with many other well-respected ocean conservationists. Kurt's 34-minute presentation is on YouTube. We think you'll enjoy it. He showed video from both California and Hawai'i, sharing lots of great information about the good work YOU help make happen!

Your support is essential if we're going to have clean coastal waters in California and Hawai'i. It's so important that the ocean remain free of man-made debris whether it's derelict fishing gear like lines, nets, and traps or the plethora of plastic trash that can often be perceived as food to marine wildlife. We'll be back out there as soon as possible to continue this vital work.

Thank you for your care and concern for the ocean and the creatures who live live in them!

Your ODA Team

Example of what 7 removed traps look like
Example of what 7 removed traps look like
Removing ghost gear
Removing ghost gear
Fishing lines caught on coral
Fishing lines caught on coral
Hawai'i volunteers with recovered marine debris
Hawai'i volunteers with recovered marine debris
Captain Kurt Lieber on the bridge of the LegaSea
Captain Kurt Lieber on the bridge of the LegaSea
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

You’re appreciated at ODA!

I’m sure you agree…nothing feels better than knowing our volunteers pull massive abandoned traps, tires, and hundreds of pounds of net and plastic trash from beaches and waterways.

We're happy to share – since our last report – that because of your support ODA’s teams of volunteers have participated in numerous clean-up outings, Here's some highlights:

  • Mid-December 2019, twenty-three (23) of our Hawai'i crew managed to remove hazardous ghost gear despite challenges. The haul wasn’t as large as is usual, but we still got about 70 pounds of lead weights and 1,000 feet of fishing lines.
  • Early January 2020, numerous volunteers removed microplastics and trash of all kinds from 2 beaches in Hawai'i.
  • Late January 2020, forty-five (45) volunteers descended on & in Honokohau Harbor. In all, we removed roughly 2,000 pounds of marine debris of all sorts, plus 45 tires!! The floor of the harbor let loose a sigh of relief as 5,300 pounds of debris will pollute the harbor no more.
  • In February 2020, volunteers collected debris on and below the surface near Los Angeles Harbor. The team removed fishing line, mylar balloons, and about 50 pounds of gill nets.

Our unfortunate reality is that people continue to pollute, and commercial fishing operations continually lose deadly fishing gear. Every year, more than 600,000 tons of commercial fishing equipment is lost in our global oceans.

As you can see ODA’s work is vital! You and your ODA teams are pulling together to remove debris from our life-giving oceans; it’s a partnership made in oceanic heaven. We have the same heart for the ocean ecosystems, and we have the same goal of making it safe for all forms of life!

THANK YOU for joining the “fight alongside us” in defense of ocean life. With your help, ODA’s crews save more wildlife & clean more water!

Please read about our 45-volunteer Hawai'i harbor cleanup or take a moment to check-out our recently refreshed website:
https://www.oceandefenders.org/

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Ocean Defenders Alliance

Location: Huntington Beach, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @OceanDefenders
Project Leader:
Michelle Lehto
Huntington Beach, CA United States
$48,389 raised of $75,000 goal
 
521 donations
$26,611 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Ocean Defenders Alliance has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.