|Event Report and Photos: Paul Meister White Point Cleanup - 1st annual 2006|
Posted by Elaine on November 13, 2006 at 19:22:51:|
Event Report and Photos
1st Annual Paul Meister Memorial
Whites Point Underwater and Beach Clean Up
September 23, 2006
Saturday September 23, 2006 was the day of the First Annual Paul Meister Memorial Whites Point Underwater and Beach Clean up. This is one of the few topside photos that I have of Paul Meister.
Whites Point was a very special place to Paul. Paul's widow, Dodie Meister, describes Whites Point as "Paul's home". During his lifetime he dove The Whites Point Issei Cove frequently, over a span of 20 years. He coordinated research projects on the hydrothermal vents for graduate students and professional researchers. He taught divers about the local marine life and educated recreational volunteer dive groups on the basics of coastal monitoring. He led two "Peanut Conferences" where ordinary recreational divers were encouraged to do studies and to present their research and their findings. At the "Peanut Conferences", the "amateur" presentations were critiqued by experts and the presenters were sent back into the water or back into their data to achieve scientifically acceptable standards. Paul has far more accomplishments than I could ever mention in one paragraph. .
These are a few underwater photographs of Paul and Whites Point.
The planning for this memorial cleanup was a true grass roots effort. Our own bbs frequent poster "Walt" put a huge amount of time into nailing out a date and coordinating the clean up with the County of Los Angeles. The Greater Los Angeles Council of Divers (GLACD) were heroic in assisting with the permit process. With our "last minute" papers in hand - set up for the cleanup began on Saturday morning.
Old friends, and new friends arrived in the parking lot. Two divers came all of the way from Ventura. Many of the attendees had know Paul, some had never met him. Approximately 2 dozen divers took part in the underwater event as well as another 2 dozen who remained as topside help..
The first order of business was the presentation of a certificate of appreciation to Dodie Meister. 15th District Councilwoman Janice Haun sent her District Director Dolores Canizales to officiate the presentation.
Eric Frasco, President of GLACD, led the dive briefing.
There would be a few prizes for the attendees. The most coveted was the "Reel of Doom". "The Reel of Doom" was to go to the person who did something during the day to make everyone say "Ssshhhheeezzzeeeee".
I got dressed and picked up a pair of the supplied cleanup gloves. Dodie Meister was my "dive buddy".
These are some photos that I took before and after my time in the water. Some participants tackled the underwater areas.
And some cleaned the beach.
These were some of our "completed" trash bags. Our collected trash weighed in at 49 pounds. A Dodger Baseball, a golf ball, spark plugs, and a full can of Tecate are just a few of the items we can speak of. There was a lot of trash that was, well...... the Latex gloves were a really good idea. Paul Meister's granddaughter kept a complete accounting of all of our trash.
After the dive was a great time to see some of the handy beach diving clothing and accessories available.
Next, we moved to Royal Palms Park at the other end of Whites Point for a Barbecue and Social.
A signed Bob Talbot video, some scuba pet bowls, and posters were some of the prizes. The coveted "Reel of Doom" went to Ross Overstreet for bringing the barbecue grill. Ssshheeezzzzeee Ross - you saved lunch!
It was a fantastic and fun day. The plans for the 2nd Annual Paul Meister White Point Cleanup are already underway.
I'll end this trip report with my own message to Paul Meister (short version):
Paul - I am very grateful for the time that we had together both under the water and above. You taught me many things and you changed my life. On numerous occasions since your passing, I have missed your wisdom and your guidance. During difficult times, I have spent many hours looking inside myself, trying to remember your spirit and to keep sight of the bigger picture that knew so well. I used to be able to pick up the phone and call you - now I look inwardly to find you. In part, my "Trip Reports and Photos" exist because of the conviction (and the courage) you gave me that underwater data does not belong on a storage shelf or out in the garage - it needs to be where it can be seen and be shared. Thank you Paul for everything. Each year, I hope that the Memorial Cleanup will strongly bring my memories back, closer to you. As I continue to hold your life in my mind, may you continue to influence my life, and perhaps the lives of others.
Rest in peace my friend.
Until Nest Time.......
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