More than 250 million tons of plastic are estimated to enter into the ocean by 2025. The environmental damage caused by plastic debris alone is estimated at US$13 billion a year. As dive professionals, we know all to well that divers are often the first to witness human impact on the marine environment. Luckily, we are uniquely positioned to help report, remove and advocate the stop of marine debris at its source.
PADI AWARE Foundation’s flagship citizen-science program, Dive Against Debris®, empowers divers to remove and report marine debris in aquatic environments. With your leadership and support, the global citizen science movement to combat pollution has now created the largest underwater marine debris database on the planet. With over 90 percent of marine debris sinking to the ocean floor, this program fills a critical data gap to advocate change and work towards long-term solutions. To date, more than 70,000 divers have removed and reported over 2 million pieces of marine debris and aided over 10,000 entangled marine animals through the program.
As a proud sponsor of the marine debris program, Seiko will further the impact of this important work that not only removes debris but, perhaps more importantly, leverages findings to inform ocean-friendly policy change to prevent further pollution for entering the ocean. Together, Seiko, PADI, PADI AWARE Foundation and the global dive community lead by passionate dive professionals will provide critical survey data that can be used by marine researchers and policymakers for conservation efforts.
“We are honored to partner with Seiko in this important effort to clean and protect the ocean,” says Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide and PADI AWARE Foundation President of the Board. “It will take all of us working together on a unified front to make the sea change required to restore ocean health and protect it for generations to come.”
Seiko’s support will help fund the PADI AWARE Community Grant Program that is launching this year to provide much-needed financial resources to enable local ocean protection initiatives hosted by PADI Dive Centers and Resorts. Seiko’s contributions will further marine debris campaign implementation in key countries that promote conservation measures at the local and national level, as well as global advocacy initiatives. In doing so, we aim to meet our ambitious goal of reducing marine debris by 50 percent in targeted countries by 2030.
To learn more about the PADI and PADI AWARE Foundation marine debris program, visit padi.com/aware/marine-debris. Learn more about how you can get involved by joining the community of PADI Torchbearers taking action for the ocean above and below the surface.