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.