By Founder and President Kurt Lieber
I just spent an evening with a room full of fellow ocean lovers! Boy, does that fill my sails!
Channel Islands Divers club has been around for a long time, and ever since we started removing debris from the northern Channel Islands in 2013 I've wanted to give an Ocean Defenders Alliance (ODA) presentation at one of their meetings.
Last year I got my first opportunity, but due to technical glitches was not able to show any video, which is how we bring to light the issue of marine debris accumulating underwater.
So, finally on Tuesday, October 20th, all the stars were aligned and I was able to give a full presentation to this well-established and active dive club.
Kevin Augarten and Jeff Larsen, longtime ODA volunteers, attended as well. Jeff (pictured below left, in the ODA t-shirt) was the president of this club many years ago, so there were a lot of people who already knew him and he happily shared about his experiences diving with ODA. Kevin lent a hand by documenting the night as photographer. Both of them helped out by selling t-shirts and answering questions.
I was introduced to the audience by Mike Doyon (pictured above right), who had me cracking up when he told them some of my history. Like how my brother Jim and I saved the money we made from our paper routes to buy a $200 sailboat when we lived on Lake Erie. Paul Simon says it best: STILL CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS.
After my 40-minute presentation, lots of people came up to Kevin, Jeff, and I and wanted to find out about our next cleanup. Mike Frabasilio had good suggestions on locations that need debris removal. Dodie Duffy also had some great ideas about how to get our message out. Beth Borer, a teacher at Ventura High School, came up with some great thoughts on how to get her high schoolers involved.
I want to thank everybody that attended for making us ODA folks feel at home in Oxnard. Hope so "sea" you all in the near future!
If your dive club (or civic club or school) would like to have an ODA presentation, please contact us!