Nearly 350 volunteers collected almost 5,000 pounds of trash and debris during the 35th Annual Avalon Harbor Underwater Cleanup, held February 20, 2016. In addition to removing trash from the harbor, the event raised over $20,000 to support the USC Hyperbaric Chamber and the Robert E. Given Fund for Ocean Conservation and Educational Research.
This is the only time scuba diving is allowed in Avalon Bay.
Unusual items recovered during the cleanup include a bug zapper, a scuba action figure, a plastic three-legged eyeball, an eight-track tape and an ornate Chinese teapot. The most valuable item found during the event was a Rolex watch.
At an awards ceremony held on Wrigley Stage immediately following the cleanup, Ted Sharshan was honored with the Golden Flipper Award in recognition of his 16 years as a volunteer. The Jon Hardy Award for promoting diving safety went to R. Buck.
The 36th Annual Avalon Harbor Underwater Cleanup is scheduled for February 25, 2017. Catalina Island Conservancy organizes the event. For more information, visit CatalinaConservancy.org.