Problems sometimes occur on such a massive scale that it seems as though one person’s actions couldn’t possibly make a difference. Too many people think “The ocean is so vast, one more piece of trash wont matter?”
As divers, we’ve seen the results of this attitude and know it is not true. But by the same token, we may also believe there’s nothing we can do to help solve a crisis as widespread as that of marine debris. And that’s wrong as well. There are ways you can help.
Dive Against Debris events are a great way to do so. Launched by Project AWARE, these dives are part of a worldwide effort designed to increase debris removal while also collecting important data to paint an accurate picture of the marine debris issue.
Some studies have found that more than 70 percent of marine debris sinks to the seafloor, so it’s important to discover this trash and record its location. Some experts believe more than 260 marine species, and 28 percent of all marine mammals, are affected by debris in some way. Tens of thousands of marine animals die each year.
Finding a dive to take part in is as easy as visiting the Action Zone Map on the Project AWARE website.
If there isn’t one nearby, organize your own. Project AWARE makes it easy to do so with a free downloadable Dive Against Debris Survey Kit. It includes everything you need to become part of the solution: a survey guide, data card, marine debris identification guide and surveyor checklist.
If you’re already part of the effort, a massive thank you! If not, please visit the Project AWARE website today at www.projectaware.org or visit your local PADI Dive Shop and do your part to help protect our oceans.