During the month of August, 50 SCUBA divers spent nearly 30,000 minutes underwater and raised $27,227 in support of the San Diego Oceans Foundation (SDOF). The annual SDOF dive-a-thon is very similar to a walk-a-thon in that divers seek pledges and donations from family and friends. Each minute spent under water and each dollar raised has a point value.

With each passing year the competition has become more intense, this year being no exception. The incredibly spirited participants completed for prizes such as an 8 Day/7 Night Dive trip to island of Kadavu, Matava—Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort, a Z Flex Dry Suit, dive computers, wetsuits, dive apparel and passes aboard dive charters out of San Diego.

This year, two categories were offered to accommodate every experience level of divers. The competition within each category was rigorous and the final standings were decided by just a few dollars and minutes logged.

Local diver, Herb Gruenhagen, said it best regarding this year’s competition, “Register for Dive-A-Thon—$25; A fill for air—$7; Doing 20 plus hours underwater in a month and supporting Ocean Stewardship—Priceless.”

Janet Pinterits, an avid diver and supporter of the San Diego Oceans Foundation took the lead with an astounding 3,105 minutes logged. Terry Strait, a new comer to the event, was right on her heels, diving 2,498 minutes and just $25 separating them in their fundraising. Tony So was the Grand Prize winner, winning the trip to Kadavu, Matava by raising $7,525 and diving 2577 minutes.

Since 1984 the San Diego Oceans Foundation has built a legacy of pioneering grassroots volunteer programs that increase our understanding of marine animals, protect ecosystems, and provide solutions to environmental challenges.

Through programs, they are able to engage community members of all ages and backgrounds in meaningful hands-on volunteer work. Whether raising white seabass, hiking canyons, educating youth or surveying local fish populations, every volunteer gains a deeper understanding and appreciation for San Diego’s oceans and bays, and helps spread the message of ocean stewardship.