Skip to main content
Menu

News

Read the latest updates including Ocean News, Community Spotlights, Project AWARE News and Press Releases.

  • Community Spotlight: Ian Craddock

    Community Spotlight: Ian Craddock Alexa Mon, 04/04/2016 - 11:10 AM
    Community Spotlights
    Alexa Ward, Communications & Community Relations Specialist
    Ian Craddock
    Debris Activist: Ian Craddock  Location: Wimborne, Dorset, UK  Diver since: 1998

    Debris Activist: Ian Craddock  Location: Wimborne, Dorset, UK  Diver since: 1998

    Growing up on the south coast of England, Ian Craddock was always in or around the water. A scuba diver for more than half his life, he’s witnessed firsthand the devastating impacts of marine debris on underwater environments in waters all across Europe and the Middle East. Compelled to take action, Ian began working with a local university and its students on Dive Against Debris™ surveys in areas heavily impacted by debris. One of their first local sites had attracted a high volume of fishing nets, killing marine life and endangering divers – with their help, it’s not only restored to its natural, debris-free state, they were even able to release some of the trapped wildlife before it was too late! Ian hopes to expand his efforts and inspire the local youth dive community to get involved in helping keep waters clean and healthy.

    What’s your favorite dive site, and why do you love it?

    The Pipeline at Shore Road, Poole in Dorset, United Kingdom. The site entrance is from a very popular tourist beach and most people believe that all that is out there is sand. In fact, it is a hidden gem due to the pipe which is a disused sewage outlet that has largely been filled with concrete. The area is a local haven for wildlife!

    Why does it need protecting?

    The Pipeline dive site is located near one of the busiest beaches on UK’s south coast, and is an attraction for lots of fishing and watersports. With heavy human traffic, marine life is often more likely to suffer the impacts of marine debris, pollution and disrupted environments.

    Craziest piece of trash found underwater?

    A boat trailer – over a mile from the shore!

    How will you Adopt a Dive Site™?

    I commit to monthly Dive Against Debris surveys and pledge to educate and involve the youth divers in caring for the site to help continue our work for years to come. 

  • Community Spotlight: Liz Parkinson

    Community Spotlight: Liz Parkinson Alexa Mon, 04/04/2016 - 10:35 AM
    Community Spotlights
    Alexa Ward, Communications & Community Relations Specialist
    Liz Parkinson
    Debris Activist:  Liz Parkinson  Location: Nassau, Bahamas  Diver Since: 2000

    Debris Activist:  Liz Parkinson  Location: Nassau, Bahamas  Diver Since: 2000

    Though she did not grow up anywhere near the ocean, Liz Parkinson has a natural affinity for the underwater world – with a background in competitive swimming throughout her childhood and at the university level, scuba diving naturally became her next step. After finishing school, Liz moved to the Caribbean, immersing herself in the ocean-centric island lifestyle. She’s been lucky to travel and experience global diversity in numerous underwater environments, but with that exposure has also come an increased awareness of the negative impact the human footprint can have on the underwater world. Working through Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas as a scuba and freediving instructor, Liz does her best to educate people on the importance of marine conservation. She teaches a variety of courses exploring marine conservation principles and consistently leads volunteers in Dive Against Debris and other ocean protection activities around the islands.

    What’s your favorite dive site, and why do you love it?

    Being a Bond fan, I would have to say the James Bond Wrecks off New Providence south shore is my favorite dive site. The reef system here surrounding the two ship wrecks – “Tears of Allah” from “Never Say Never Again” (1983) and the Vulcan Bomber from “Thunderball” (1965) – is as vibrant in color as the coral growth on these wrecks. There is a huge diversity of marine life here, and because it is not very deep, the sunlight really makes this a remarkable site!

    Why does it need protecting?

    As astronaut Scott Kelly showed us from the International Space Center, the beauty of the Bahamas is in its waters. As tourism traffic increases, it is important to help in the preservation of our underwater ecosystem. Consistent Dive Against Debris™ surveys are a great way to help maintain and protect the health and beauty of the ocean.

    Craziest piece of trash found underwater?

    A GoPro – and it still worked!

    How will you Adopt a Dive Site™?

    I will consistently monitor the New Providence south shore area and organize groups to conduct Dive Against Debris surveys on a monthly basis. By working closer with our Bahamian Coastal Awareness Committee to limit the use of plastics and other unsustainable products, we will hopefully begin to see a decrease in man-made products finding their way to the ocean. 

  • Community Spotlight: Tim Latimer

    Community Spotlight: Tim Latimer Alexa Mon, 04/04/2016 - 09:53 AM
    Community Spotlights
    Alexa Ward, Communications & Community Relations Specialist
    Tim Latimer
    Debris Activist: Tim Latimer  Location: Dauin, Negros Oriental, Philippines  Diver Since: 1995

    Debris Activist: Tim Latimer  Location: Dauin, Negros Oriental, Philippines  Diver Since: 1995

    Originally from the prairies of western Canada, Tim Latimer first picked up scuba diving as not only a hobby, but as a means of enabling him to travel and live in warmer climates. As a dive instructor, Tim has spent time teaching and living all over the world. In places like Honduras, Nicaragua, Cyprus and Thailand, his experiences have given him the opportunity to witness first-hand the effects that humans can have on the ocean. One particular travel experience prompted Tim to become more invested in ocean protection: shocked upon hearing local dynamite fishing while diving in the Philippines, Tim decided to take a more active role in marine conservation. Tim adopted the Philippines as his new home, and got involved in Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris™ program, incorporating Dive Against Debris education and curriculum into all scuba instructor development courses that he teaches at Liquid Dumaguete Dive Center in the Philippines. By ‘teaching the teachers,’ Tim is helping to spread Dive Against Debris principles far and wide.

    What’s your favorite dive site, and why do you love it?

    Liquid Dumaguete Dive Center’s house reef of Mainit, directly in front of the resort, is the site that I dive the most. It is such a varied dive site that you can never become bored diving on it:

    It starts with an unassuming sandy slope, but then scattered coral heads appear. The site’s strong current often keeps divers drifting from one part of the reef to another – and that’s part of the fun! As you drift, you can encounter the resident school of barracuda or some of the many small creatures that inhabit an established artificial reef. But it’s the end of the dive that is most astounding! There, divers see natural hot springs breaking through the sea floor, where vents create vast areas of orange sand and crumbling ledges that look like a scene from Mars. It’s a truly beautiful and unique dive site!

    Why does your dive site need protecting?

    With the strong currents in this area comes an abundant amount of schooling fish. These are great for us as divers, but they also attract the local fishermen. Even though the area is a sanctuary, fishing line and other plastic debris is a continual problem. Monthly clean ups will help to remove all the old lines and keep a track of how the sanctuary system is faring at keeping new lines from appearing. 

    Craziest piece of trash you’ve found underwater?

    On a recent dive, a friend of mine found a cassette player. It became a hot topic since a few members of the dive group didn’t know what it was! It just went to show how long trash can remain in underwater environments – it had been in the ocean for an entire generation of divers.

    How will you Adopt a Dive Site™?

    I’ll train Liquid Dumaguete Dive Center staff and dive instructors to conduct monthly Dive Against Debris surveys, and our resort will adhere to a “no straw” and “no plastic bag” policy. We’ll continue to separate our trash for proper recycling and disposal and focus on keeping plastics out of the ocean environment. 

  • Community Spotlight: Fredric Ihrsen

    Community Spotlight: Fredric Ihrsen Alexa Wed, 03/30/2016 - 04:27 PM
    Community Spotlights
    Alexa Ward, Communications & Community Relations Specialist
    Fredric Ihrsen
    Debris Activist: Fredric Ihrsen  Location: Saltstraumen, Bodø, Norway  Diver Since: 2004

    Debris Activist: Fredric Ihrsen  Location: Saltstraumen, Bodø, Norway  Diver Since: 2004

    A dive instructor of eleven years, Fredric began participating in underwater cleanups when he first started leading group dives years ago in Thailand.  Although the excursions occurred just once a year, he immediately became hooked and his interest in ocean conservation began to grow.  He continued leading underwater cleanups while working as a dive instructor in the Red Sea, but it wasn’t until he arrived in Norway in 2008 and found his tribe, Saltstraumen Dykkecamp, that he truly became a Dive Against Debris™ activist. With each dive Fredric takes, he fastens a half-liter plastic container to his hip and collects trash as he goes, averaging about two to four pounds of debris removed per dive. Last year, he collected over 330 pounds (150 kg) of debris! Little by little, Fredric is determined to eliminate marine debris from Saltstramen’s waters so his guests can see its incredible beauty.

    What’s your favorite dive site, and why do you love it?

    Ørneset is my favorite and the dive site I visit the most! It has a slope with rocks and formations, beautiful colors, and tons of interesting fish: wolf-eel, sei and cod, and the occasional lumpfish or halibut. There is a corner where it turns into a wall dive about 200 feet (60-70 meters) deep covered with sponges, blue mussels and plumose anemone coloring the walls down as far as you can see. Meanwhile, from about 50 feet (15 meter) and up, you can see beautiful kelp forests waving in the current. Check out this video to see what it’s like!

    Why does it need protecting?

    Saltstraumen is unique with is strong currents and rich underwater life. Unfortunately, discarded fish hooks from the fishermen and debris from the local community often make their way into its waters. With such beautiful and diverse marine life in this area, it’s important that we protect it for future generations.

    Craziest piece of trash found underwater?

    A brand new fishing rod, just slightly broken in the top. The owner just threw it in the water! It must have cost $150 at least.

    How will you Adopt a Dive Site™?

    I pledge to monitor my dive site and conduct Dive Against Debris surveys monthly (or more!) and educate the community on the toll trash takes on underwater environments.

  • Community Spotlight: Gabriel Espino

    Community Spotlight: Gabriel Espino Alexa Tue, 03/29/2016 - 01:11 PM
    Community Spotlights
    Alexa Ward, Communications & Community Relations Specialist
    Gabriel Espino
    Debris Activist: Gabriel Espino  Location: Vieques, Puerto Rico, USA  Diver Since: 2000

    Debris Activist: Gabriel Espino  Location: Vieques, Puerto Rico, USA  Diver Since: 2000

    Born and raised in Puerto Rico surrounded by water, the ocean has always been Gabriel Espino’s second home. He trained to become a scuba diver at a young age, and was lucky enough to be mentored by dive instructors who with extensive marine conservation knowledge and expertise. Gabriel’s instructors encouraged him to assist in cleanups, taught him how to improve dive techniques to protect underwater environments, and emphasized the importance of advocating for ocean protection.

    Now a dive instructor himself, Gabriel is passing this tradition on to his students, teaching them how to care for the ocean – a precious resource – and encouraging them to pass their knowledge on as well. He leads divers at Black Beard Sports, Puerto Rico in large-scale Dive Against Debris™ surveys, always encouraging the public to get involved and join the efforts. One dive at a time, Gabriel is helping his community come together to protect Puerto Rico’s ocean environments, reefs and wildlife for future generations.

    What’s your favorite dive site, and why do you love it?

    Mosquito Pier in Vieques, Puerto Rico. It is simply amazing to witness the different types of marine organisms you see in this one spot. Sharks, rays, dolphins and turtles are just some of its big visitors. It is an artificial reef environment since it has grown on the side of a wave breaker and under a pier, but it is one of the most lush, biodiverse environments I have ever seen! Every day we see something new.

    Why does it need protecting?

    Monofilament is the biggest issue at Mosquito Pier. There is a longline fishing community that fishes here daily, and unfortunately, much of their line becomes lost, tangled or discarded at sea. Every time we dive here, we remove massive quantities. Not only do we report this through Dive Against Debris surveys, we also recently implemented a fishing line recycling station along with Loggerhead Marine Life Center.

    Craziest piece of trash found underwater?

    $20 cash – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

    How will you Adopt a Dive Site™?

    I commit doing monthly Dive Against Debris surveys with our dive shop, Black Beard Sports, and offering a free Dive Against Debris Specialty Course training and certification to any divers that accompany me to the surveys. In addition, I’ll educate local longline fishermen about proper techniques to avoid contributing to the marine debris issue.

  • Community Spotlight: Nic Emery

    Community Spotlight: Nic Emery Alexa Mon, 03/28/2016 - 01:54 PM
    Community Spotlights
    Alexa Ward, Communications & Community Relations Specialist
    Nic Emery
    Debris Activist: Nic Emery   Location: Ayer Batang Bay, Tioman Island, Malaysia   Diver Since: 2005

    Debris Activist: Nic Emery   Location: Ayer Batang Bay, Tioman Island, Malaysia   Diver Since: 2005

    Nic Emery first started diving when she was 19. While on holiday in Egypt, she took an open water diving course. From the moment she put her head underwater, she knew she would someday become a dive instructor. Now over a decade later, Nic is not only a dive instructor, she is a Branch Manager at B&J Diving in Malaysia, a Project AWARE environmental activist and Dive Against Debris™ leader in her community. Nic educated her students on the marine debris issue by teaching the Dive Against Debris Specialty, and she encourages them to pick up every single piece of trash they see on a dives. Through organization of monthly Dive Against Debris surveys and environmental volunteer activities, Nic is leading the fight for debris-free seas in her community.

    What’s your favorite dive site, and why do you love it?

    #MyDiveSite that I’ve chosen to adopt – Mangrove Bay on Tioman Island – isn’t one of our regular dive sites, it’s actually our lunch time chill out spot! Our boat moors up in Mangrove Bay while we munch some local food and enjoy our beautiful, tranquil surroundings. Here, we can watch the sea eagles soar in the rainforest or go snorkeling with baby black tip sharks in the shallow mangrove. It’s pretty special.

    Why does it need protecting?

    Mangrove Bay needs protecting because we DON’T dive here. This area is visited by lots of snorkelers and is a place of shelter for fishing boats who regularly throw their unwanted rubbish over the sides. The bay also acts as a funnel for floating debris from the open ocean, so the beautiful mangrove forest roots are often covered in old rope, plastic and other debris.

    Adopting this site means we can devote special attention to this very special place.

    Craziest piece of trash found underwater?

    False teeth.

    How will you AdoptaDiveSite™?  

    I’ll adopt Mangrove Bay by conducting monthly Dive Against Debris surveys, removing and reporting debris around the reef and mangrove roots. I’ll also encourage our crew to take a leisurely snorkel with interested guests during their lunchbreaks to hunt out any debris in the shallows on a daily basis. We are in the process of organizing a big mangrove clean up with local school kids – we really need as many hands as possible to make an impact on the trash in there!

  • Community Spotlight: Juan Blanco

    Community Spotlight: Juan Blanco Alexa Mon, 03/28/2016 - 01:46 PM
    Community Spotlights
    Alexa Ward, Communications & Community Relations Specialist
    Juan Blanco
    Debris Activist: Juan Blanco  Location: Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde, Africa  Diver since: 1993

    Debris Activist: Juan Blanco  Location: Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde, Africa  Diver since: 1993

    Juan Blanco grew up in the south of Spain close to the Mediterranean Sea, dreaming of the day he’d explore the underwater world. When he turned 18, he enrolled in a scuba diving course at the first possible opportunity and hasn’t looked back since. Now a scuba diving instructor, Juan has traveled throughout Africa, Europe and the Caribbean and witnessed the incredible beauty of the underwater world, but also the increasingly alarming impacts of debris. With this exposure, his love for the ocean has increased, as has his awareness of the need to protect it.

    Juan believes that part of our journey as scuba divers, and ocean ambassadors, is not only to enjoy the ocean but to do all that we can to care for it. Through beach cleanups and Dive Against Debris™ surveys, Juan is dedicated to empowering his dive students and volunteers to keep their local dive sites clean.

    What’s your favorite dive site, and why do you love it?

    My favorite dive site is the entire ocean – ha! But if I have to pick a single site, #MyDiveSite is Atlantida in Boa Vista, Cape Verde. This volcanic sea mount is home to many different pelagic fish and critters that always seem to be in perfect harmony.

    Why does it need protecting?

    Currents surrounding Atlantida bring in all types of trash from the nearby village. This debris often gets stuck in the reef, requiring frequent cleaning.

    Craziest piece of trash found underwater?

    A washing machine.

    How will you AdoptaDiveSite™?

    First, I’ll commit to monthly Dive Against Debris surveys to monitor my local dive site. But I won’t stop there… I will use the company I work for, Scuba Caribe, as a platform to introduce Dive Against Debris to all of its associated dive centers, encouraging them to clean their own local dive sites. Our dive center will be the role model to spark a larger movement!

  • Community Spotlight: Curtis Snaper

    Community Spotlight: Curtis Snaper Alexa Mon, 03/28/2016 - 01:15 PM
    Community Spotlights
    Alexa Ward, Communications & Community Relations Specialist
    Curtis Snaper
    Debris Activist:  Curtis Snaper  Location:  Las Vegas, Nevada, USA  Diver Since:  1999
     

    Debris Activist:  Curtis Snaper  Location:  Las Vegas, Nevada, USA  Diver Since:  1999

     

    Growing up and living in Southern California and Southern Nevada throughout his life, Curtis Snaper was never too far from a large body of water. From his first breath underwater as a diver, he gained a deep respect and love for our ocean and fresh water environments. As a scuba diver, he’s always picked up bits of trash as he comes across them, aware of the negative toll that marine debris can have on marine life. As his frequent encounters with marine debris increased over the years, he grew compelled to take greater action. Now a master scuba instructor and 100% AWARE partner, Curtis conducts regular Dive Against Debris surveys and integrates Dive Against Debris education into every dive class he teaches. By spreading awareness among his students, he’s able to have a greater positive impact on his local dive environments, both above and below the water.

    What’s your favorite dive site, and why do you love it?

    #MyDiveSite is Cabinsite Point on the Arizona side of Lake Mohave just minutes from Laughlin, Nevada. It is a multi-use recreational area and one of our favorite dive training sites with lots of wildlife! Underwater, there are plentiful bluegill, bass, catfish and the occasional fresh water turtle, and along the shoreline there are big horn sheep, burros and roadrunners.

    Why does it need protecting?

    Our lakes and oceans are natural resources that are so often neglected and ignored. Though you don’t see it from above, trash beneath the waves sits, collects and pollutes the underwater ecosystems that a healthy planet needs to thrive. I’ve seen it all, from water fowl drowned by entanglement in fishing line to broken glass and fishing hooks in swimming areas.

    As divers we are in a unique position: we not only see the degradation of our waterways firsthand, we also witness the positive difference that our Dive Against Debris surveys have on the environment as they become healthier and remain enjoyable as recreational areas.

    Craziest piece of trash found underwater?

    A fishing pole with fish still attached.  

    How will you Adopt a Dive Site™?   

    I pledge to Adopt a Dive Site by organizing Dive Against Debris surveys and cataloging the debris with my dive students on a monthly basis. I also pledge to reduce my use of plastic bags and single-use straws, encouraging my students to do the same.

     

  • Dive Against Debris Hero: Brige Zintz

    Dive Against Debris Hero: Brige Zintz Alexa Thu, 03/24/2016 - 08:32 AM
    Community Spotlights
    Alexa Ward, Communications & Community Relations Specialist
    Brige Zinz
    If our past two decades of conservation have taught us anything, it’s that Project AWARE divers are true leaders in ocean protection! We’re a growing movement of marine activists numbering in millions across the globe, making a lasting positive impact for our ocean planet. And our work isn’t easy – it’s estimated that as much as 250 million metric tons of plastic could make its way into the ocean by 2025, damaging critical habitats and endangering marine life. But when it comes to the Ugly Journey of our Trash, the Project AWARE dive community is fighting back.

    If our past two decades of conservation have taught us anything, it’s that Project AWARE divers are true leaders in ocean protection! We’re a growing movement of marine activists numbering in millions across the globe, making a lasting positive impact for our ocean planet. And our work isn’t easy – it’s estimated that as much as 250 million metric tons of plastic could make its way into the ocean by 2025, damaging critical habitats and endangering marine life. But when it comes to the Ugly Journey of our Trash, the Project AWARE dive community is fighting back.

    Divers are taking a stand against the onslaught of ocean trash: Through Dive Against Debris surveys, divers not only remove harmful debris from their local dive sites, they also contribute valuable data which is essential to work towards long-term solutions. In 2015 alone, over four thousand scuba divers from 58 different countries removed close to 90,000 marine debris items from underwater environments. In honor of these amazing contributions, we’d like to shine a light on some of our most outstanding leaders, that is, our Dive Against Debris Heroes!

    Today, we’re proud to announce our first Dive Against Debris Hero of 2016, Brige Zintz.

    For the first time in Project AWARE history, Brige Zintz has done what no other diver has before: 100 consecutive days of Dive Against Debris surveys! From December 2015 through March 2016, Brige and her team at Seaventures Dive Rig visited their local house reef off the coast of Mabul Island in Malaysia daily, removing debris and recording and reporting results to Project AWARE.

    Drawn to the world of scuba after falling in love with a diving instructor, Brige has become passionate about ocean protection. Ever since becoming scuba certified four years ago, she’s enjoyed countless dives in and around Mabul surrounded by beautiful environments and fascinating marine life. Though unfortunately, her local dive site – like so many others – suffers from a garbage problem. Upset that she couldn’t dive anywhere without encountering a piece of plastic, bottle, can or fishing line caught in coral, Brige was determined to take action to enact lasting change.

    Brige explains, “Here at Seaventures, we conduct irregular clean ups on our own house reef, but it never seemed to be enough. That’s when it hit me to do something bigger… With my team of 12, one day of Dive Against Debris only makes a small difference, so I thought, ‘Let’s try 100.’”

    Through daily journaling, photographs and data reporting, Brige’s 100 days of Dive Against Debris surveys are revealing information about underwater marine debris like never before. Brige and her team reported 10,285 items of marine debris through their surveys, amounting to over 2000 pounds (over 900 kg) worth of trash – yuck! Not only did Brige and her team improve the health of her local underwater environment, her consistent, quality Dive Against Debris surveys have helped us to better understand changes in debris flow in this area over time.

    Project AWARE thanks Brige for her incredible commitment to Dive Against Debris – she really is a true ocean hero!

    Want to join Brige in the fight against ocean trash? Dive Against Debris today.

     

  • Project AWARE News

    地球日認領潛點活動

    By:

    Project AWARE®於4月22日地球日宣布今年打擊海洋垃圾的最新自發行動「Adopt a Dive Site™」(認領潛點)。Adopt a Dive Site著眼水肺潛水社群的獨一無二潛水技能,呼籲全球的潛水領隊,包括潛水教練、潛水中心與度假村一同參與當地正在進行的活動,齊心保護水中樂園。 Adopt a Dive Site活動隸屬Project AWARE旗艦公民科學計畫Dive Against Debris™,專為全球非營利組織最盡心盡力的潛水領隊打造,這些人每個月固定進行Dive Against Debris調查,回報同一個地點每月發現的海洋垃圾種類和數量。為了支持全心投入的社群,Project AWARE將提供參與Adopt a Dive Site的潛水員一整套全新調查工具,協助實際調查工作、一份當地潛點的年度報告,另外發給潛水中心、度假村和領隊一套識別工具,聯合當地客戶和社群共同擔起守護海洋的職責。