As the world prepares to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, PADI® and Project AWARE® are pleased to announce that the 2nd edition of AWARE Week is scheduled to take place globally the week of September 14-22, 2019.
In celebration of Life Below Water - the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal focused on the ocean - this year's AWARE Week theme is Building Bridges.
AWARE Week 2019 will strive to build bridges between community action and policy change by encouraging the global dive community to submit Dive Against Debris® data to help paint an accurate picture of the marine debris issue.
Through Dive Against Debris, volunteer divers’ surveys capture quantitative data specific to marine debris found on the seabed yielding insight on the effects and extent to which our everyday trash is infiltrating the marine environment.
Although it’s believed that over 70% of marine debris that enters the ocean ends up on the seafloor, little quantitative information is available regarding the types and quantities of this rubbish. Dive Against Debris data aims to fill this gap – providing quantitative data, and an accurate perspective about underwater marine debris, that policy-makers simply cannot ignore.
Data submitted this Earth Day, during AWARE Week and year-round goes towards reaching our ambitious goals to reach our next million pieces of debris reported by the end of 2020.
Save the date and start this Earth Day with a pledge to make #EveryDiveaSurveyDive in 2019 and beyond!
A few examples of last year's AWARE Week events and activities
United Arab Emirates: Divers Down UAE
Divers Down UAE collected over 110 pounds of marine debris during their Dive Against Debris event. As a way of creating shark awareness, they also conducted an AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty course for 14 of their PADI divers.
Thailand: Crystal Dive Koh Tao
The team at Crystal Dive Koh Tao spent the week conducting Dive Against Debris and AWARE Shark Conservation specialties. To finish off the event, they celebrated with a free barbecue night for all of the participants.
Curacao: Blue Bay on Curacao
A group of volunteers came together in Curacao for a beach clean-up at Hole 6. In addition to the two full boats of divers and snorkelers, participants signed up for the PADI Invasive Lion Fish Specialty Course to assist in catching the invasive species.
Australia: Dive Centre Manly
The group at Dive Centre Manly gathered 30 people for their “Blue Backyard Cleanup.” The majority of the items retrieved were plastic wrappers, single-use coffee cups, straws, cutlery, Styrofoam, and hundreds of unidentifiable pieces of plastic. As an added reward, the nearby Hawkesbury Brewing Co. gave the participants a very well-deserved free beer.
Spain: Balky Sub
In Spain, Balky Sub’s group were on one of the area’s cleaner dive sites and still recovered more than 11 pounds of plastic in one day – mostly consisting of plastic bottles and bags. And since every day is AWARE Week for this team, they make an effort to pick up trash from the ocean and beach on a daily basis.
Philippines: Dive Funatics
Before they conducted their monthly Dive Against Debris event on September 22, Dive Funatics, located in the Philippines held a peak performance buoyancy clinic to ensure all of their divers had a chance to polish up their buoyancy. To thank their divers, participants received a T-shirt in addition to a bracelet made of upcycled debris collected from their August Dive Against Debris event.
Jordan: Deep Blue Dive Center
Deep Blue Dive Center teamed up with the Tala Bay Resort team by hosting a Dive Against Debris at Tala Bay marina on 12 September. The result: The crew cleaned up over 140 pounds of waste in 20 bags. But they didn’t stop there. The following week, a group of 15 divers conducted another clean-up.
Bonaire: Dive Friends Bonaire
From September 15-21, Dive Friends Bonaire organized a range of activities to fight ocean pollution. With seven locations and five house reefs on-island, the group worked to promote conservation with Dive Against Debris dives on every house reef.