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.