Upon reflecting on the passing of 2009, we can't help but be reminded of how far ODA has come in the past year and decade.
As many of you know, the first decade of the 21st Century started off with the birth of ODA as a bona-fide nonprofit organization, and 2009 began with a burst of vital publicity and awareness for our wildlife-saving mission.
In early January 2009, after hearing reports about an abandoned net off Catalina Island needlessly killing marine wildlife, we headed to the scene aboard the Captain Jack, a large work boat generously donated by Mike Hoover. The challenge was to remove as much net as possible from the near-island wreck, "Infidel", a fishing boat which sank in late 2006 after getting greedy hunting for squid (they capsized due to the excessive catch weight of a huge net overfilled with the cephalopods). Although the wreck was sunk in 150 feet of cold seawater, the mindless, monster-sized, tangled net was tragically ensnaring a variety of marine wildlife (including protected mammals) as each species chased another into the deadly man-made trap in search of prey and food.
While we were hoping this remarkable story would be of interest to the local media, the LA Times sent a reporter and photographer to cover the expedition, and the report went regional and national with additional coverage by KTLA and FOX News, NPR (All things Considered), and later KCET as well as a slew of local, regional and national outlets. In a time when the little guy has to often self-publish important news, we are honored by the mainstream media attention, and grateful for the doors it opened for institutional funding from a variety of foundations in 2009.
Whereas the remainder of 2009 was not the frenzy of the first quarter, it was a great time to be part of the ODA dream team and an environmentalist. Although we can't thank everyone enough who helped us enough in 2009 and years prior, you know who you are and we are very appreciative of your generous donation of time, service, expertise, and funding.
Below is a chronological list of our significant accomplishments and activities in 2009. Please forgive us if you notice that we've neglected to post a notable activity, and/or someone's key participation. Feel free to remind us and we'll update the list! ODA is continually looking towards the future and dreaming of a healthy marine habitat for our offshore wildlife friends, liberated of deadly derelict and abandoned commercial fishing gear.
For the Oceans,
President & Founder