Avalon Harbor Underwater Cleanup set for Feb. 22
Catalina’s crystal clear waters are a constant source of amazement. Bright orange garibaldi, amber fronds of kelp and playful sea lions can all be seen from the surface, thanks to the exceptional water clarity found around Santa Catalina.
Each year, hundreds of scuba divers do their part to make sure the Catalina waters stay crystal clear by taking part in the Avalon Harbor Underwater Cleanup. Plunging beneath the surface, those dedicated divers bring up hundreds of pounds of trash, including cans, bottles and a truly remarkable number of sunglasses and cellphones.
Each year the divers also surface with a number of treasures and oddities, including diamond rings, old coins, bullets, outboard motors, wallets and unopened wine bottles. Shortly after the clean-up concludes an awards ceremony spotlights the most interesting finds for the year.
The only time scuba diving is allowed in Avalon Harbor, the cleanup serves as a fundraiser for the Catalina Conservancy’s Robert R. Given Fund for Ocean Conservation and Educational Outreach and the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber. Whether you plan to take the plunge yourself or just peruse the findings, the Avalon Harbor Underwater Cleanup is always an interesting way to spend the day. This year’s cleanup is set for Feb. 22, 2014. The cost to participate is $40 per diver.