Project AWARE Joins Seas at Risk

Prioritizing marine litter solutions across Europe and beyond.

By unanimous vote, Project AWARE joined Seas at Risk on 5th June 2014 – an international network of NGOs working to protect and restore the health of the marine environment in Europe and the wider North East Atlantic. As a member, Project AWARE joins 21 additional member organizations from 14 countries to advocate for the ocean.

Seas At RiskThe ocean has become engulfed in litter, much of it plastic - a growing environmental, social and economic problem that requires change at all levels of social organization – from an individual and a community, through country, to European Union (EU) and beyond. The Seas at Risk network is working together to ensure that EU governments take marine debris seriously and commit to adopting measures and actions most effective in tackling the problem.

“Project AWARE is pleased to partner with the Seas at Risk to represent the underwater perspective of this growing issue. Working in partnerships, we can drive much needed change for the ocean from two directions: bottom up and top down,” said Ania Budziak, Associate Director of Science and Policy for Project AWARE. “Together, we can influence policies necessary to improve how waste is managed locally, regionally and globally.”

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) adopted in 2008, is the only existing EU legislation that explicitly requires EU Member States to come up with measures to reduce marine litter. The year 2020 will be the first deadline to assess whether or not the state of the European environment has improved. Seas at Risk members aim to encourage Member States to take the marine debris issue seriously and implement measures to reduce litter required at all levels.

Project AWARE works with more than 20,000 scuba diving volunteers across 60 countries to remove, report and visualize trash found underwater through the Dive Against Debris program. This information is now being shown on the new interactive Dive Against Debris Map, shedding light on the growing marine debris problem that remains largely invisible to the wider public.

“Our trash does not belong in the ocean. As scuba divers, we’re able to use our unique skills and knowledge not only to remove debris underwater but also to report the data to support the necessary changes on land that will contribute to a clean and healthy ocean,” said Budziak.

To find out more about Project AWARE’s marine debris initiatives visit www.projectaware.org.

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Notes to Editors: 

Project AWARE is a global movement of scuba divers protecting our ocean planet - one dive at a time. Focused on the critical issues of Sharks in Peril and Marine Debris, Project AWARE empowers thousands of divers in more than 180 countries to work together for a clean, healthy and abundant ocean planet. Project AWARE Foundation is a registered non-profit organization.

Seas At Risk is a European association of non-governmental environmental organisations working to protect and restore to health the marine environment of the European seas and the wider North East Atlantic.

For further information please contact: 

Tiffany Leite, Associate Director, Communications & Outreach

Tel: +1 949 858 7657 Ext. 2448 – Email: tiffany.leite@projectaware.org

Domino Albert, Manager, EMEA and New Media Specialist

Tel: +44 (0)117 300 7313 - Email: domino.albert@projectaware.org.uk