Ocean Defenders Alliance



In 2000, ODA was created to fill a void in the world of marine conservation; we take on the role of “cleanup crew” for the seas.
Many talk of needing clean oceans, but ODA "dives in," physically removing ghost gear (nets, lines, traps, and other debris – most made of toxic plastics). We use ships crewed by our dedicated volunteer SCUBA divers to remove deadly marine debris from oceans, especially protected areas. ODA has completed hundreds of life-saving excursions, however the need for our specialized work is great because commercial fisheries continue to lose 600 tons of commercial fishing gear annually and uneducated people continue to pollute. [Note: We do work to educate the public about this "out of sight, out of mind" issue of ocean pollution].
Founded by former Sea Shepherd Board Member and Volunteer Kurt Lieber, ODA is active in Southern California and Hawai'i (Oahu and Big Island), and our work is performed by passionate volunteers. We clean coastal waterways is a variety of ways: from onboard our ocean-going vessels, in boat harbors, on beaches, and inland waterways such as channels and wildlife refuges.

Mission Statement

Ocean Defenders Alliance works to clean and protect marine ecosystems through documentation, education, and importantly --meaningful action. Operating from ship and shore, ODA's all-volunteer boat and dive crews remove derelict fishing nets, traps, and lines, as well as plastic and other man-made debris threatening ocean wildlife and habitats.

Program Details

In California: We've been based here since inception in 2000.
Our regular activities include (but aren't limited to):
  1. At-sea Debris Removal: Our flagship boat "Mr. Barker's LegaSea" covers the coastl waters from Ventura County all the way south to San Diego County. Our vessel, manned by six SCUBA divers and additional deck crew, motors to the location of marine debris where the crew dives in to extract and remove the debris; deck crew hauls it onto the boat and it is taken back to shore for proper disposal.
  2. Channel Islands Harbor cleanups
  3. Wildlife refuge cleanups
  4. Fullerton Adopt-a-Channel project
  5. Presentations at schools, dive/boat clubs, and other civic organizations
  6. Annual fundraising dinner
In Hawai'i: In the Hawaiian Islands since 2016, we have established partnerships with four dive boat operators that have agreed to collaborate with ODA on debris removal expeditions: two on Oahu (Island Divers and Hawaii Nautical) and two on the Big Island (Kohala Divers and Jack’s Diving Locker).
Our regular activities include (but aren't limited to):
  1. At-sea Debris Removal
  2. Honokohau Harbor cleanup - official partner with harbor
  3. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve - official partner with Department of Land and Natural Resources
  4. Beach cleanups
  5. Presentations at schools, dive/boat clubs, and other civic organizations
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19744 Beach Blvd #446
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
United States
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