For over two decades divers have tackled the marine debris problem. From the olden days of an annual beach and underwater cleanup event to today's action - regular and comprehensive Dive Against Debris surveys reporting the quantities and types of marine debris items found underwater - we've stepped up our game and massively scaled up how we can help protect marine life from deadly ocean trash.
With Earth Day April 22nd fast approaching, this month we're celebrating all things rubbish. Under the Earth Day theme "It's Our Turn to Lead" we're shining a light on the actions you take to tackle one of the biggest ocean issues of our time: marine debris.
How Can You Help?
1. Don't let your dives go to waste. Remove and report what doesn't belong underwater every time you dive. All of our actions, no matter where we live, affect the ocean and the marine life it holds. Discover how you can turn your dives into a Dive Against Debris.
2. Be a Debris activist. Make a conscious effort to buy green, buy local and, when possible, buy less. An astonishing amount of plastic waste makes its way underwater. In 2010 alone, as much as 12.7 million metric tons of plastic waste entered our marine environment reaching even the most remote ocean areas. Once there, it persists for decades, killing wildlife, destroying habitats and threatening our health and economy. This April, become a debris activist and pledge to follow 10 Tips for Divers.
3. Lead the effort. If you're a PADI Professional, you can lead your divers in a Dive Against Debris. Mobilize your divers and community into action by teaching the PADI approved Dive Against Debris Distinctive Specialty. Apply direct to PADI for the rating this April and we'll send you a free Dive Against Debris mesh bag* plus PADI will donate your Instructor rating fee to Project AWARE.
For many, marine debris seems like a remote problem – out of sight, out of mind – but scuba divers see first-hand the devastating impacts it has on marine life. With levels of plastic debris entering the ocean expected to increase more than tenfold in the next decade, it’s time to show the world the true extent of the global marine debris problem and reveal what lies beneath the waves.
We all have a role to play in reducing, removing and preventing marine debris. Join Project AWARE this Earth Day and every day. #OurTurnToLead.
* while stocks last. Bags will be mailed at the beginning of May.