Dive Against Debris: FAQs
What is marine debris?
Marine debris is any manufactured or processed solid material that, regardless of size, finds its way into the marine and coastal environment. These include materials discarded into the sea or on beaches; brought indirectly to the sea by rivers, sewage, storm water, or winds; accidently lost or deliberately discarded at sea; or deliberately left by people on beaches and shores.
Dive Against Debris is a new Project AWARE underwater debris data collection effort. We are calling on AWARE divers like you to volunteer - anytime and anywhere - to remove debris, record and report the types and amounts of debris you have found online at www.projectaware.org. Your involvement will help fill gaps in our understanding of the impact that marine debris has on underwater environments. You will also help drive change in how waste is managed locally and globally.
I organized Project AWARE International Cleanup Days in the past, how does Dive Against Debris differ?
International Cleanup Days of the past happened only once a year in September and usually occurred as a large event where volunteers collected both shoreline and underwater trash. Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris is a year-round activity, that can be completed by small teams of friends or by bigger dive groups at any time. Dive Against Debris works with a new scientific data card developed specifically for underwater marine debris. It also includes a new training unit to be taken before the dive, an online data reporting form and online resources downloadable from www.projectaware.org.
Because the underwater world needs your help. You will be contributing to a global effort to build a complete picture of the impacts of marine debris. The information you collect and report will help change local and regional waste policies. Also, removing debris during your Dive Against Debris makes the ocean cleaner, healthier and safer for marine life. More than 260 marine species are affected by marine debris. Sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, fishes, seabirds and many other animals ingest or get entangled in trash. As a result, marine debris kills many thousands of marine animals every year. Additionally, you can help educate your friends and colleagues about the issue of marine debris. The simple act of telling your family and friends about your Dive Against Debris will increase awareness of this issue and can help move us towards a world where we reduce, reuse and recycle to stop marine debris.
As an individual, find a Dive Against Debris near you or grab your dive buddy and choose a site on your own. All participants must complete the free training module in order to participate, organize and submit data for Dive Against Debris. Also, be sure to check out the Marine Debris ID Guide, print and review the Data Card and download our Dive Against Debris Checklist. Remember, your Dive Against Debris is not complete until you have submitted your data online.
If you are thinking about organizing a Dive Against Debris event, download the How to Organize Guide for tips and tools.
Choose a dive site you know and where you will find debris regularly. By surveying the same dive site regularly, you help visualize local marine debris issues. This information can be used to help drive local change that stops trash from entering the ocean.
During the early days of Dive Against Debris, your data and feedback will be critical to further develop and improve the program. Do you have feedback on this program? Share it with us.
The data you report will help drive change in how we prevent, reduce and manage marine debris. Project AWARE will share your data with other organizations as we join forces with local, regional and international stakeholders to end marine debris.
Locally and regionally, your data will help improve infrastructure and policies that prevent and reduce marine debris. Your data will, combined with all other Dive Against Debris surveys, appear on www.projectaware.org where it will contribute to a global picture of the debris underwater.
All Dive Against Debris resources can be found at www.projectaware.org/resources.
As often and regularly as you can. By collecting and recording information about rubbish found at the same site on a regular basis, you can help identify trends in the types of marine debris, and the frequency and times of the year it is found at your location. The underwater realm is invisible to the public. As an AWARE diver completing regular surveys of your dive site, you can help change this.
You receive recognition through your My Ocean profile, the Project AWARE website and Project AWARE social networks. Coming Soon! We'll be implementing a special achievement badge on your My Ocean page showing your commitment to the program. The more data you add, the higher your score in your Dive Against Debris Achievement Badge. Look out for more announcements in the coming months. Make sure you upload your event photos and story to your My Ocean page so that Project AWARE can repost your story on our website and social networks and other divers can be inspired by your great contribution.
You can also promote your event on your My Ocean page on www.projectaware.org. Invite fellow divers to attend and make note of who attends your event. Your event will then be featured on Project AWARE’s Action Map.
Ask your question here. Thank you!