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Ocean Defenders Alliance

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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

101 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

From everything I have seen, this organization has passion and integrity, two essential ingredients for every non-profit organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I needed to volunteer with a non profit group as a "check off box" for my volunteer commitment to achieve my black belt in karate. Once I started working with Kurt Lieber and his organization I saw how committed they were to defending our ocean resources, and I became a life-long fan. It is a professional organization and is the epitome of what my instructor says about thinking globally but acting locally. Recovering the abandoned nets have made a significant impact on the ocean wildlife.

1 William46

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the good luck to discover the Ocean Defender Alliance and the good sense to join them. Nothing but positive interactions with Kurt and the people who assist him in making the seas a better safer place. I have been welcomed and appreciate for contributions of my time an expertise whether they be large or small. I just completed a recovery event and wished we could have stayed longer. Now that I am back on shore I await to email for the next outing.

glendaw278

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ODA is one of the most important organizations I am aware of that is doing hands on, pulling out the garbage cleanup of our oceans. I am happy to support them in my own small ways. The news they share about our oceans is informative and crucial to understanding the impact each individual can have - for positive or negative - on the health of our planet. Only with education can we hope to change the current path of destruction our planet is on. ODA makes good decisions and does amazing, planet saving work with the budget they have; all while educating supporters about why it is important for them to do what they do. I have designated them my charity of choice for donations when I shop online.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I support Ocean Defenders Alliance! What most impresses me is that ODA is the only organization that I belong to that is the real deal. ODA is 100% hands-on direct action. I live near the ocean in Orange County, California so I see first- hand how hard our expanding human population can be on the health of the ocean and its marine ecosystems. Ocean Defenders uses its resources to pick up ghost netting, abandoned lobster traps, carelessly tossed fishing line and trash. Our oceans are gasping for breath. Ocean Defenders reminds me of a giant oceanic activist action figure. I am forever grateful for ODA's direct, first aid to the Pacific Ocean.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering for ODA has been truly inspiring. The people involved are incredibly gifted in general and, more specifically, all are devoted to the ocean and to the planet. Kurt Lieber runs the best ship humanly possible. His knowledge of all facets, his concentration, his intuitive ability to know what's needed and to never put anyone in jeopardy all add up to incredibly successful and rewarding days on the sea. I revel in the accomplishments and in the spirit of comradery that abounds at ODA. This organization is top notch.

2 EarthKnight

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A truly excellent organization!

I have worked with nearly 40 nonprofit organizations in various capacities over the last 26 years, and have known the Founder and President of ODA for more than 22 years.

Without hesitation, I consider Ocean Defenders Alliance to be among the best there is. Grassroots, effective, focused, and operating with integrity.

Please help me support them!

Advisor

Rating: 5

ODA is an amazing marine conservation organization that cleans the underwater ecosystem in Southern California year after year. It is managed with an eye toward leveraging donor funds for maximum impact. Untold numbers of marine animals have been saved by their efforts. If you care about the ocean and the future of our planet please consider supporting ODA.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ODA your clean up and caring for our seas here in Orange County have helped protect our sea life from perishing from Ghost Traps left behind as well as debris that is left on top of the ocean that can also cause harm and death to our sea life. You are the Angels of Our Seas and I have been on the boat first hand and worked closely with President Kurt Leiber to witness ODA's amazing efforts and caring for our Orange County Seas which greatly effects our comunities and lives. The seas survive...we survive. Many thanks to ODA and please help to support this wonderful non profit organization.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

No one in Southern California makes our coastal waters safer for marine wildlife by reducing dangerous man-made marine debris from vital habitat than ODA. Focusing on the professional removal of abandoned & derelict commercial fishing gear that poses serious threats to numerous species. In the process, ODA carefully liberates live wildlife found trapped in nets and pots that needlessly continue to capture and kill long after being lost by the fishing industry.