The Catalina Island Conservancy’s 33rd annual Avalon Underwater Cleanup will takes place February 22, 2014. During the event, members of the diving community are invited to help clean the seafloor of Avalon Harbor. This is the only time diving is permitted in the harbor.
Over the years, the cleanup has grown to become one of the most popular dive events in Southern California, attracting more than 500 divers who scour several sites to retrieve trash and lost items from the harbor floor.
For the second time since the event began, Lover’s Cove has been added to the list of dive cleanup sites. Lover’s Cove is a protected marine preserve by the State of California and is normally closed to divers. 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.
A T-shirt design contest is held each year to come up with a logo and T-shirt design for the event. The 2014 winner is Pat Rosengren. Pat will receive a free Conservancy Adventurer-level membership and free admission to the event, which concludes with an awards ceremony.
In addition to ridding the seafloor of debris, the event supports the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber and the Catalina Conservancy’s Robert R. Given Fund for Ocean Conservation and Educational Outreach 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.
Divers who wish to participate in the Avalon Underwater Cleanup can obtain more information or register by visiting the www.catalinaconservancy.org website or phoning (310) 510-1445. Only certified divers with a c-card may participate in the dives, but other cleanup related activities are available to non-divers.