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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Water, Water Resources, Wetlands Conservation & Management

Mission: Ocean Defenders Alliance works to clean and protect marine ecosystems through documentation, education, and meaningful action. Working with affected communities, we focus primarily on the reduction and removal of man-made debris which poses serious threats to ocean wildlife and habitats.

Results: 2013 was a record breaking year on many fronts for ODA: • ODA conducted 30, daylong debris removal expeditions, primarily within California’s Channel Islands. This number is a new record for us! • ODA removed 33 abandoned traps, more than doubling last year’s record! • ODA recovered 2,190 pounds of trap remnants, breaking our record by more than 200 pounds! • ODA retrieved 1,420 pounds of nets, nearly doubling last year’s record! • We also released 56 animals from certain death, setting another new record! • Though we did not set a record in this category, we are also proud to have reclaimed 3,490 feet of polypropylene line. This line poses an entanglement and drowning risk to surfers, divers, and migrating whales. • Last but not least: ODA representatives gave 31 educational presentations to high schools, middle schools, magnet schools, dive clubs, community groups, and others in 2013. Many of these were in Ventura County, and were supported by local media coverage. This is more than double our previous record!

Target demographics: clean the oceans and save marine wildlife.

Direct beneficiaries per year: We help all marine life (birds, fish, invertebrates, mammals, plants and algae) by removing from the ocean abandoned fishing gear including lines, nets, and traps, as well as all other forms of man-made debris such as plastic, metal, and all types of garbage.

Geographic areas served: California coastal waters

Programs: Ocean Defenders Alliance's mission is to work toward clean, healthy marine ecosystems through documentation, education, technology improvements, and meaningful action. The large majority of this active work is done at sea, from aboard our 50-foot vessel donated by television celebrity Bob Barker and named after him: Mr. Barker's LegaSea. The boat crews are volunteer deckhands, mechanics, divers, and our captain is ODA Founder and President Kurt Lieber. Our team's primary action goal: Remove manmade pollution from the oceans, leaving marine habitat and wildlife in a safe and thriving environment.

Community Stories

57 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

T_Weisel

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been supporting ODA since its inception and it has been the best use of our donated dollars I've witnessed. The volunteers involved with this organization and what they give for the cause are amazing. I only wish I had more money to help leverage their efforts.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been donors for 10 years and continue to be amazed at how this group accomplishes so much with so little. The bottom line is the passion that drives the founder, staff and volunteers is like no other that I have witnessed in a non-profit. These people are really committed.

Catherine94

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Getting fishing gear out of the water is one of the most direct ways to save ocean wildlife. Thanks to Ocean Defenders Alliance, it's happening. Plus, having extra eyes on and in the ocean helps identify issues - like too many fishing pots too close together - that gives inside info to the conservation movement.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've helped ODA clean up LA Harbor. It is a selfless group doing great work to help our local environment. Thanks ODA.

Andre9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have helped ODA for years and cant think of a better way to directly impact the global environment via local direct action! Every dollar spent by ODA is applied completely to the removal of man made trash from our ocean. The change starts here!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Doing a part to clean up marine habitat. We put it there, we should clean it up.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ODA is an amazing organization. Truly a non-profit, existing with many volunteers who dive, maintain the ODA boat, and spread the word about our mission.

1 Deb_34

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The hard work of the Ocean Defenders Alliance continues to make a big difference for the local marine ecosystems where they operate. Having watched them grow over the past several years, we're proud to have them as part of the Sylvia Earle Alliance / Mission Blue family.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We are partners of the Ocean Defenders Alliance and we find Kurt and his team to be incredibly effective at making a real difference to the marine environment. Their stories, shared on our Mission Blue website have inspired people across the globe to launch ocean cleanups of their own! Organizations such as ODA give us hope for the future!

seamonkey

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Totally focused on cleaning up the ocean. I dive with ODA, and every dive we remove traps and nets that are down there killing the wildlife in our oceans. This is a noble enterprise worthy of everyone's support.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Kurt and his crew out there doing the Lord's work. Cleaning up the ocean is no small task and it's hard work. Keep it up ODA!

Donor

Rating: 5

ODA is a group of highly dedicated, experienced individuals working toward a common goal. They are industrious and creative and the work they do is essential!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ODA is everything an organization should be: passionate, resourceful, reliable, frugal & always ready & able to help their cause. ODA rids the ocean of harmful abandoned fishing gear & anything else they find under the sea that's wreaking havoc, from car batteries to microwaves to nets and gear, they clean it up so the animals are safe and healthy. ODA is the best!