Catalina Underwater Cleanup brings hundreds of divers to Avalon harbor

Scuba Diving in Catalina

Catalina Island is surrounded by some of the country’s best dive spots. Scuba divers who plunge beneath the surface discover what has been named North America’s top dive destination. Playful sea lions, colorful garibaldi and plentiful calico bass cruise the mid-waters while massive black sea bass and graceful bat rays beckon. Dive spots from one end of the island to the other invite discovery and divers of all abilities – from first timers to the veterans – find that Catalina Island has something to offer.

Once a year, many Catalina Island scuba divers give back at the Avalon Harbor Underwater Clean-up. During the clean-up, which is the only time that recreational scuba diving is allowed in Avalon Harbor, scuba divers haul hundreds of pounds of trash and junk out the bay. Bottles and cans form the bulk of the junk, but divers also bring up sunglasses, cellphones and car keys. Prizes are given for rare and unusual treasures recovered, but most of the 500 divers are dedicated to removing trash from the treasure of Avalon Harbor.

Scheduled for Feb. 20, the Avalon Harbor Underwater Clean-up is also fundraiser for the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber and the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies scientific diving program. The event is hosted and managed by the Catalina Conservancy Divers.