New Interactive Dive Against Debris Map

Dive Against Debris Map

Scuba divers worldwide remove and report marine debris found below the surface

An interactive map launched this week by Project AWARE visualizes nearly three years of ongoing reporting by an international network of volunteer scuba divers who remove trash they find underwater through the Dive Against Debris programme.

Dive Against Debris empowers scuba divers around the world to remove and report types and amounts of trash they find underwater. The web-based reporting platform enables divers to submit their data and images online. This information is now being shown on the new interactive Dive Against Debris map, shedding light on the growing marine debris problem that remains largely invisible to the wider public.

“Armed with the information, supported by people on the ground, and working in partnerships, we can drive much needed change for the ocean from two directions: bottom up and top down,” said Ania Budziak, Associate Director of Science and Policy for Project AWARE. “Together, we can change what we produce, consume, and how we dispose of our waste. We can also influence policies necessary to improve how waste is managed locally, regionally and globally.”

Our trash does not belong in the environment yet millions of tons of it enter the ocean each year. So far, the number one type of trash reported by Project AWARE divers is plastic – making up nearly 70 percent of the items. These include single use plastics we throw away everyday like bottles and bags that animals mistake for food as well as fishing line and nets that entangle marine life with devastating consequences. The map, which visualizes more than 400,000 items of debris reported so far, underscores why initiatives to reduce waste are so critical.

Project AWARE’s new Dive Against Debris map represents the first opportunity to instantly visualize what is reported and where on a global scale. The organization hopes to use this information to target debris prevention initiatives, reduce the amount of rubbish entering the ocean and ultimately protect wildlife.

“As scuba divers, we’re able to use our unique skills and knowledge to collect data to show the devastating impacts our waste has on life beneath the waves,” said Budziak. “Project AWARE volunteers who remove and report underwater debris are members of a unique community that contribute to a clean and healthy ocean and also inspire us all to make ocean friendly choices every day.”

View the map to see what divers are finding underwater and get involved at projectaware.org/DiveAgainstDebrisMap.

Leaders into Earths Final Frontier

It’s a cliché but true that the underwater world is Earth’s final frontier, and the PADI family leads its exploration. This is significant, because for the first time in human history, our survival relies in part on exploration. This is because the oceans — inner space — anchor the global ecosystem. We must understand and preserve them to survive. When you teach people to dive, you transform them into explorers, but you also teach them the value of what they see.

Dive Against Debris
Dive Against Debris

The “new life forms” they find underwater thrive in a different world, but we all realise it is not a world apart from our own, but integrally linked to it. Sadly, it’s often a beer can or a patch of anchor-ravaged reef that reminds us how the terrestrial world affects the subaquatic world. Diving breeds an army of advocates who join us in championing the preservation of the underwater world.

New divers form ranks with us because, once they see how fragile yet wonderful the underwater world is, they value it and want to protect it. But our main motivation isn’t diving. It’s our kids. My fantasy (and yours, I suspect) for humanity’s future is a healthy, abundant world in which my children, your children and their children will live. I believe that PADI’s deeper purpose is transforming people into advocate-explorers who passionately examine and protect our fragile seas so that we will see this fantasy become reality. Sci-fi movies are fun, but that’s as far as they go. Diving is also fun, but it’s real. That’s why you make a difference.

Project AWARE: Get the business edge by becoming 100% AWARE

100% AWAREJoin dive centres worldwide in this unique partnership programme.

More than 200 PADI Members and Dive Centres worldwide are putting ocean protection at the heart of their businesses. You can join them and become 100% AWARE – Project AWARE’s Partnership Giving Program exclusively for PADI Members.

For your business 100% AWARE means you can:

  • Streamline PIC Online Process – give all of your students the AWARE certification card, in one easy step.
  • Effortlessly support ocean protection with every certification.
  • Create loyal customers who appreciate and value your commitment to conservation.
  • Partner with Project AWARE to protect the underwater world your business relies on.
  • Gain positive exposure to a movement of more than 1.5 million scuba divers worldwide.

Many dive professionals support ocean protection, but 100% AWARE dive centres and instructors have a special commitment. They partner directly with Project AWARE to support a clean, healthy ocean planet by making a donation for each certification onbehalf of their dive students.

You can be part of Project AWARE’s 20 years of successful marine conservation programs by joining 100% AWAREthe only environmental partnership program of its kind.  Email info@projectaware.org.uk or download the agreement form today.

What are the benefits?

You can promote your commitment to conservation with AWARE’s fantastic marketing tools:

  • Posters, flyers, decal, certificate, web banners and social media tools to promote your support.
  • Listed as a 100% AWARE Partner and featured on the global map www.projectaware.org
  • Broad reach – Project AWARE has a reach of approx 1.5 million globally.
  • My Ocean Online Badge and a shout out on Facebook – Project AWARE has over 123,000 followers and growing.
  • Your partnership contributes 10 points towards the PADI Green Star award and waives the usual fee.
  • Connect directly to customers who want to dive with centres who are environmentally responsible

New 10 Tips for Divers Benefit the Ocean

10 Tips for Divers Divers pledge to harness the power of scuba for conservation

Project AWARE recently launched its modernized 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet – a code of conduct for scuba divers to safely interact and protect underwater environments at the same time. The eco ethic aims to harness the power of scuba to influence environmental change – one dive at a time.

10 Tips for Divers is an ethic to live by. Just as climbers and campers have a code, so do millions of certified divers around the world. Also incorporated into PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) training courses and materials, Project AWARE’s 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet will reach millions, from professional to recreational level scuba divers.

“Small conscientious acts for conservation, multiplied by many like-minded people, can add up to something big,” said Alex Earl, Executive Director for Project AWARE. “The ocean faces ever-increasing threats today. Project AWARE’s 10 Tips focuses on top ocean issues globally where divers can specifically make a difference. Thanks to corporate partnership with PADI, Project AWARE is able to extend our nonprofit reach to educate and engage divers globally and advance our critical mission for ocean protection.”

Scuba divers everywhere can boost their eco by taking this ocean ethic to heart and take the pledge to follow 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet every time they dive and travel.

  1. Be a Buoyancy Expert
  2. Be a Role Model
  3. Take Only Photos – Leave Only Bubbles
  4. Protect Underwater Life
  5. Become a Debris Activist
  6. Make Responsible Seafood Choices
  7. Take Action
  8. Be an Eco-tourist
  9. Shrink Your Carbon Footprint
  10. Give Back

Discover and share the full version of 10 Tips for Divers with recommendations for divers and ocean advocates of all levels at projectaware.org/10Tips. Check out all the resources in the 10 Tips Action Kit.

Ocean Action Project Winners Announced

OAP Winners84 applicants worldwide, 10 finalists and 6 winners. A new wave of Ocean Action is about to begin thanks to your vote.

Nearly 3,000 of you voted in the 2013 Ocean Action Project helping to deliver much needed support to six new conservation projects strongly focused on manta ray and shark protection as well as educational projects targeting marine debris.

The 2013 winning Ocean Action Projects are:

  • Ecotourism and Awareness for Manta Ray Conservation, Planeta Oceano, Peru
  • Protecting Sharks and Rays from Fishing Boats in the Andaman Sea, Blue Guru Conservation, Thailand
  • What Goes Around Comes Around – Communicating Marine Debris Science Through Visual Arts, The Plastic Ocean Project, USA
  • Thailand eShark Project, Shark Guardian, Thailand
  • The Great Fiji Shark Count, Fiji Dive Operators, Fiji Islands
  • This Project is Rubbish! South African Shark Conservancy, South Africa

Every day our conservation leaders face new and difficult battles to protect our ocean. Thanks to our donors Project AWARE is able to deliver support to six Ocean Action Projects building a new wave of protection on the ground and in the water,” says Joanne Marston, Associate Director, Project AWARE Foundation.

All Ocean Action Projects are required to keep a log on their My Ocean profile page so you can keep up to date with the progress. You can read all about the actions and progress of last years winners.

Thank you to everyone who applied.

Celebrate #GivingTuesday – Give Back to the Ocean You Love

PADI is giving back to the ocean in celebration of #GivingTuesday, December 3rd – an international day to celebrate giving. To mark the beginning of the holiday season PADI will match all donations to Project AWARE up to $10,000.

And all donations of $150, €125, £100 made by 1 January 2014 receive a Project AWARE ecoethical t-shirt to show off your support.

PADI’s commitment to #GivingTuesday is an industry first and we encourage all dive centres and PADI divers to give back to the ocean and make #GivingTuesday a day for our ocean planet.

The time to protect the ocean is now. www.projectaware.org/give

#GivingTuesday Project AWARE PADI match giving poster

How to Give Back on #GivingTuesday?

  1. Give – all donations, large or small, are critical to our next ocean victory
  2. Check out our brand NEW videoOcean Protection Starts with You” and find out why your donation is a great investment for our ocean future
  3. Show your support of #GivingTuesday by taking a picture, tagging it #unselfie, #GivingTuesday and #projectaware, and sharing on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram until December 4!
  4. Give your time and Dive Against Debris this December

Thank you to all PADI Divers and PADI Pros who support Project AWARE. Please look out for more alerts from Project AWARE on how you can get involved.

Vote for your Favourite Ocean Action Project

You hold the power to put shark and marine debris conservation projects in motion. All you need to do is cast your vote online. Voting is open from 26th November until 08th December! Don’t miss the opportunity to kick-start your favourite Ocean Action Project. Your vote could be the difference between idea and action. Vote for your favourite Ocean Action Project on FacebookOcean Action Project 2013 - Vote Banner.

Project AWARE: Celebrate #GivingTuesday – Give Back to the Ocean You Love

PADI is giving back to the ocean in celebration of #GivingTuesday, December 3rd – an international day to celebrate giving. To mark the beginning of the holiday season PADI will match all donations to Project AWARE up to $10,000.

And all donations of €125, £100 or more made by 1 January 2014 receive a Project AWARE ecoethical t-shirt to show off your support.

PADI’s commitment to #GivingTuesday is an industry first and we encourage all dive centres and PADI divers to give back to the ocean and make #GivingTuesday a day for our ocean planet.

The time to protect the ocean is now. www.projectaware.org/giveProject AWARE long sleeve T-shirt campaign Holiday Season

How to Give Back on #GivingTuesday?

  1. Give – all donations, large or small, are critical to our next ocean victory
  2. Check out our brand NEW videoOcean Protection Starts with You” and find out why your donation is a great investment for our ocean future
  3. Show your support of #GivingTuesday by taking a picture, tagging it #unselfie, #GivingTuesday and #projectaware, and sharing on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram until December 4!
  4. Give your time and Dive Against Debris this December

Read More: http://www.projectaware.org/update/give-back-ocean-givingtuesday

Thank you to all PADI Members and Dive Centres who support Project AWARE. Please look out for more alerts from Project AWARE on how you can get involved.

New Project AWARE Hammerhead Mask Strap

Project AWARE Mask Strap 2014 Hammerhead sharkProject AWARE Special Offer for PADI Member Renewals

Heads Up! Hammerheads Need Protection

Nearly one in five shark and ray species is threatened with extinction – the time to act is now.

High demand for the international fin trade is the main driver for hammerhead fishing. In some areas hammerhead populations are down 80%.

Help hammer home protections for sharks worldwide and donate today. With a gift of £15, €15, CHF20 or more, PADI Members receive a limited edition Project AWARE hammerhead mask strap. Make a donation on your PADI Member Renewal 2014 Form or ask your PADI Team at customerservices.emea@padi.com

Are you an Ocean Hero? Apply to the Ocean Action Project

The search is on! Are you a local ocean hero with an innovative, results-driven project addressing marine debris solutions or focusing on protecting critical shark and ray species? If so, Project AWARE’s Ocean Action Project could be the support you need to take your project to the next level.  

We want to support strong grassroots projects that help build a wave for global ocean protection in two key focus areas: Sharks in Peril and Marine Debris.

Ocean Action Project Apply Banner Shark ImageHere’s How it Works:

1. Does your Ocean Action Project idea qualify? Check out the guidelines and application to find out.

2. Complete the simple application by 31st October and submit a photo to help tell your story and inspire the public vote.

3. Can it stand up to the rest? Project AWARE will select the best of the best and let the public cast the final vote in November. If your project is selected, you’ll receive funds to give your project the extra push to succeed.

If there’s an action orientated project that inspires you, please spread the word and invite others to apply. Feel free to be in touch with questions and stay tuned to vote for your favorite Ocean Action Project!