Scuba Divers Fight Back Against Marine Debris

Project AWARE Debris Month of ActionWhen Debris Month of Action begins on 1st September 2012, thousands of volunteer scuba divers will battle marine debris underwater around the world. Their mission? To take action and provide a world view of the debris issues plaguing our ocean planet.

Project AWARE’s Debris Month of Action is an annual event which shines a light on marine debris removal and data collection efforts lead by scuba divers and volunteers working year-round to combat the ever growing marine debris problem.

During September’s Debris Month of Action, AWARE divers will make a stand and take on the ocean’s silent killer – marine debris. You can take part:

  1. Conduct Dive Against Debris surveys or join an organized Debris Month of Action event in your local area.
  2. Show support by downloading a “We’re Fighting Against Debris” sign, take a photo and upload it to your social network sites.
  3. Help fund community action and solutions to marine debris problems by pledging their support as an individual or corporation at www.projectaware.org/donate.

Despite various data that is collected in the marine realm today, we don’t know enough about the extent and threats of debris on fragile underwater environments. So the data scuba divers collect during Debris Month of Action and throughout the year, are critical for effectively preventing, reducing and managing marine debris.

“Marine debris kills countless marine species silently and needlessly each year. But divers are using their unique skills to fight back  and contribute the underwater debris data needed to show the true extent of marine debris issues and devise solutions,” says Alex Earl, Executive Director, Project AWARE Foundation.

Over six million tons of marine litter is estimated to enter our ocean each year. Pervasive debris kills wildlife, destroys habitats, and threatens our health and economy. Found in even the most remote ocean places, once underwater, debris can remain for generations.

The good news is marine debris is preventable. Coordinated strategies are needed at all levels to prevent, reduce and manage solid waste. Together, we can stop marine debris by taking local action and supporting policy change.

Join us in the fight against marine debris this September and all year - visit www.projectaware.org

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Notes to Editors

Project AWARE Foundation 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.

Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris surveys and Debris Month of Action annual event are the only programs of their kind to engage divers as citizen scientists in reporting comprehensive data about the debris they encounter underwater – anytime and anywhere.

For more marine debris facts check out Project AWARE’s Infographic “The Ugly Journey of our Trash”.

For further press information, an interview or images, please contact:

Tiffany Leite, Associate Director, Communications & Outreach

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

Domino Albert, PR & Communications coordinator

Tel: +44 (0)117 300 7371 - Email: domino.albert@projectaware.org.uk

Joanne Marston, Associate Director

Tel: +61 2 9454 2890 Ext. 891 – Email: joanne.marston@projectaware.org.au