The 34th Avalon Underwater Cleanup, sponsored by the Catalina Island Conservancy, is an annual dive event held at Avalon Harbor on Catalina Island. This year the event will take place on Saturday, February 21. Although online registration is closed, you can sign-up at the Wrigley Stage on Front Street (Crescent Avenue) the day of the event, and registration is $60 per diver.
The event was started in the 1970s by the local dive community in an effort to cleanup Avalon Harbor, and this event is the only time diving is permitted in the Harbor. Over the years, this event has grown to become one of the most popular dive events in Southern California.
For the third time since the event began, the Conservancy has permission to add Lover’s Cove to the dive sites! Lover’s Cove is a protected marine preserve by the State of California and is normally closed to divers.
Divers will be combing the harbor looking for and finding everything under the sun. Last year, divers found things as small as a plastic green army man toy to solar panels. There will be awards for their finds too, from smallest to largest, from most valuable to most unusual. Come down to the shoreline and see what the divers bring In years’ past, there have been over 500 divers who had a great time retrieving trash and lost items from the harbor as well as celebrating the event. There are numerous parties around town on both Friday and Saturday nights as divers revel in the warm friendly atmosphere of Catalina Island.
Several dive clubs also have made this event one of their premier social events of the year. Each year the Conservancy sponsors a contest to design a logo for the Underwater Cleanup. This year’s winner was Eric Fitzpatrick. The proceeds of the Avalon Harbor Underwater Cleanup benefit the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber and the Catalina Conservancy’s Robert R. Given Fund for Ocean Conservation and Educational Outreach. The USC Catalina
Hyperbaric Chamber is a 24/7 emergency recompression facility on Catalina that serves thousands of divers who frequent the waters of Southern California.
If you would like more information about the 2015 Underwater Clean Up, or get more information about other Conservancy events and activities, go to the Catalina Island Conservancy’s website at www.catalinaconservancy.org.