Project AWARE Foundation staff are deeply saddened about the passing of a long-time colleague, mentor and friend Seba Sheavly. A leader in the marine debris field for two decades, Seba was a keystone figure in the conservation community and a tireless advocate for the ocean.
“Seba was one of Project AWARE’s first friends at the Center for Marine Conservation in the early days of international cleanup so many years ago,” said Chairman of the Project AWARE Foundation Board and PADI President and Chief Operating Officer, Drew Richardson. “I will always remember her boundless energy, passion and enthusiasm for her work. She was a world renowned expert in her field. As such, she had a great impact on helping understand marine debris problems and engaging divers who have been working on the issue for decades.”
As the former director of the International Coastal Cleanup program for the Center for Marine Conservation, it was here that Project AWARE Foundation found a tremendous ally and Seba had great influence in shaping Project AWARE’s debris initiatives over the years.
Based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA, she founded Sheavly Consultants, an environmental consulting firm working on ocean conservation issues, in 2007. As principal of Sheavly Consultants, Seba provided advisory services to multiple institutions including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Ocean Conservancy and Project AWARE Foundation.
Although not a diver herself, Seba was passionate about the contributions divers around the world have and could make toward solving the marine debris problem. In 2011, she helped craft Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris – a global, year-round, underwater survey of marine debris recovered and reported by divers.
In 2011 strategy meetings Seba inspired our teams once more, “Dive Against Debris is putting more form and fashion to the power of work divers have been doing for decades. It’s placing renewed attention on what is found underwater. Project AWARE divers are the eyes and voice underwater and this information is invaluable. You’ve got to get the information, to take people there and give them the underwater view of how debris is affecting the ocean.”
“It’s a challenge!” said Seba. “If it weren’t, it wouldn’t be worth doing.”
Thank you Seba for all you’ve done. Your dedication, enthusiasm and inspiration will be deeply missed.