Project AWARE Divers Pledge to Protect their Underwater Playgrounds
On Earth Day, April 22, Project AWARE® announced its latest initiative supporting the fight against marine debris: Adopt a Dive Site™. Harnessing the unique underwater skill set of the scuba diving community, Adopt a Dive Site urges scuba diving leaders around the globe – including dive instructors, dive centres and resorts – to engage in ongoing, local protection and monitoring of our underwater playgrounds.
Participants of Adopt a Dive Site commit to carry out monthly Dive Against Debris surveys, reporting types and quantities of marine debris found underwater each month from the same location.
Adopt a Dive Site sits within Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris and empowers scuba divers to remove marine debris from the ocean and report data on the types, quantities and locations of materials collected.
Since the program’s launch in 2011, more than 25,000 divers have participated in Dive Against Debris in more than 50 countries around the world, reporting almost 600,000 pieces of trash. This incredible effort has saved the lives of many ocean species and helped make our ocean cleaner, but the unfortunate reality is that there is still much more trash in the ocean, largely unreported. The Adopt a Dive Site initiative aims to close this data gap and ignite a new wave of ocean stewardship and optimism.
Adopt a Dive Site participants’ local, repeated surveys will help improve the health of ocean ecosystems. But more importantly, they will provide valuable, much-needed information about marine debris to help inform policy change.
“By targeting specific areas with repeat surveys, we’ll be able to further bridge the gap in knowledge of quantity and types of marine debris found under our ocean waves,” says Joanne Marston, Campaign Manager, Project AWARE.
“What’s more,” adds Joanne, “based on the data we receive, we’ll actively seek solutions to some of the localised waste management problems communities’ face. It’s the beginning of an exciting wave of change as we mobilise our passionate dive community to take ownership of the sites they frequent. Together our movement is leading ocean protection from the frontlines.”
Project AWARE is thrilled to welcome its new Adopt a Dive Site leaders, dive centres and resorts and kick off a new wave of stewardship. Together, Adopt a Dive Site participants will help build a strong and vibrant community of activists dedicated to the fight against marine debris.
To learn more, visit www.projectaware.org/adoptadivesite