Catalina Island

34th Annual Avalon Underwater Cleanup is a Big Success Divers Recovered Nearly 3,000 Pounds of Trash

The 34th Annual Avalon Underwater Cleanup was a big success with nearly 550 participants contributing to a one-day effort that recovered and removed nearly 3,000 pounds of trash from the waters surrounding Catalina Island. It was a great day of diving, enjoying Catalina and helping ensure the health of the ocean environment surrounding the Island we all love. The divers recovered a great deal of debris from the December 30th storm. This event would not be possible without the help of the volunteers, the Kayak Safety Patrol and the Harbor Department. The Catalina Island Conservancy sends out their sincere appreciation to all volunteers and to the more than 400 divers who helped clean up the waters surrounding Catalina.
The divers recovered many odd items, and they had a great deal of fun comparing their discoveries. The Conservancy has been honored to have worked with the dive community for so many years to make the Annual Avalon Underwater Cleanup one of the region’s biggest and best dive events.
The Conservancy really appreciates the efforts of Bob Kennedy, from Scuba Luv, who helped organized the removal of the large debris, and of Jill Boivin and Tom Turney, the key volunteers for this event.
Here’s the statistics on the Underwater Cleanup and the many awards.
The statistics are: Trash: Metal=90 pounds; boat parts=1,640 pounds; and trash=400 pounds. The Grand Total was 2,940 pounds of trash. Participants: 427 Divers, 30 Non-Divers, 30 Volunteers, 26 Kayak Safety Patrol, and 30 Avalon Harbor Department. That’s a Total of 543 people diving and working at the event. The Awards were as follows: Clothing, from the Green Pier, Children’s Alien underwear…from Little Green Mens’ children? Recovered by Judy Spowart; Electrical, from Casino Point, a Pioneer Brand Dual Cassette Tape Deck, only high quality for this trash award, recovered by Alan Glazer; Funniest, from Lover’s Cove, a can of snuff…hmmmmmm, recovered by Doug Lasater; Household, from Casino Point, a twin-size air bed – punctured, recovered by Rachel Hunt; Kitchen, from Step Beach, related kitchen sink – looks like this time they found everything including…recovered by Thomas
Lance; Miscellaneous, from Lover’s Cove, an aeronautical A B17 tail tire – but no tail! Recovered by Jonathon Lee; Oldest, from the Green Pier, a 1904 Indian Head penny, so sand abraded that the Indian head could only be seen while it was wet, recovered by Joe Kiszeli; Perverted, from The Green Pier, black jockey shorts in a toilet – but no tank top! Recovered by Dudley McLaughlin; Tiniest, from the Green Pier, a tiny yellow bead in a little box, recovered by Ruth Harris; Sporting Goods, from Casino Point, a really old diving mask, old style black skirt with front “pig snout” purge, recovered by John Dzamba; Valuable, from Step Beach, an Anheuser Busch beer bottle from 1907, recovered by Eric Frasco; Worthless, from Lover’s Cove, a dull, rusted, old pocket knife, recovered by Ari Spanos; Most Spirited, from the Green Pier, the Dive Team Married Yesterday and they spent the first day of their honeymoon diving for trash!

The newlyweds are Lindsay and Scott Boatman; Critter Patrol, from the Green Pier,”4 Octopus Rescue,” an 11-year old concerned for the ocean, taking the animals back to the water! Ari Bletnitsky; The Ken Kurtis Silver Tongued Devil B.S. Award went to “Submarine Shrinkage,” the Octopus found in a model submarine in cold water and the shrinkage…you had to be there, and the winner: Debra Hill; Jon Hardy Safety Award for diving accident investigations and Why Divers Die seminars – Captain John Kades, Los Angeles County Coroners Office.

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 Out-reach established in the name of Dr. Robert Given. 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.

Story By Spencer Campbell, Development Manager, Catalina Island Conservancy