This July, divers can start tackling marine debris online via the new and improved Dive Against Debris eLearning course.
The heart of the PADI AWARE marine debris program since 2011, Dive Against Debris has advanced ground breaking marine research, producing two scientific publications mapping the global state of marine debris.
PADI® Dive Centers have been instrumental in making Dive Against Debris the most successful program and movement for marine debris in the world, working with divers to remove nearly 2 million pieces of debris and aiding over 10,000 entangled marine animals. In 2022 and beyond, the program will provide country specific data to inform the advancement of local waste management policies, stopping marine debris at its source.
The nearly 300,000 monthly site visitors to the PADI Website will now have the opportunity to purchase Dive Against Debris as an eLearning course.
Since 2008, eLearning sales have increased from 30% to 66% of total course sales.
Adding Dive Against Debris to the platform increases exposure of the course and the opportunity for students to engage in conservation education with dive operators around the world. Once certified as a Dive Against Debris diver, the hope is that the student continues to engage on a consistent basis in DAD activities at their local dive center.
Annabel Thomas, founder and owner of AquaMarine Diving, a recent PADI AWARE Community Grantee for Marine Debris, says “Bali is ‘over the moon’ that PADI’s Dive Against Debris Specialty course theory is now available as eLearning! We believe this will increase the number of people who study the theory – even if they don’t (intend to) complete the required dive for certification. The more people increase their knowledge, the more they will care about the environment, both topside and underwater; divers and non-divers alike.”
For decades, PADI has generously donated 100% of the instructor application fee for the Dive Against Debris Course to the PADI AWARE Foundation, a public charity. In order to make conservation more accessible than ever, PADI and PADI AWARE Foundation are changing the application from a mandatory donation to a suggested donation at launch on July 1st. In lieu of the application fee, is a suggested donation of $30 which will go directly to the Foundation to support the largest underwater marine debris movement and database on the planet.
What’s new with the revised Dive Against Debris® course?
In addition to availability on the eLearning portal, the Dive Against Debris Specialty has been revised for modern learning and easier access to conservation action for students around the world. The program has expanded the performance requirements to include PADI Freediving Instructors and PADI Advanced Mermaid Instructors, who may become Dive Against Debris Instructors and teach freedivers and Advanced Mermaids the course, increasing the number of divers that are safely trained to remove and report seafloor debris.
The course will launch with a PADI eLearning component, revised lesson guides and supporting materials for both students and instructors.
The citizen science component will roll out new upgrades to the PADI AWARE app making submissions more user friendly.
Dive Against Debris will remain a one-dive, standardized Adventure Specialty, and instructors will be able to immediately teach the course.
In addition, an actual survey and submission of the survey is a required course component.
By end of July, the course will be available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, Simplified Chinese and Russian.
“We’ve found that eLearning helps our divers hit the ground running,” says Nic Emery from Fifth Point Diving Center in the UK. “When they come to us with a good grasp of the info they need, our instructors can show their students how to apply their new knowledge, but most importantly concentrate on having fun. This is going to be especially powerful with a course like Dive Against Debris.”
eLearning will ignite the fire, Instructors fuel the passion and then, the divers change the world.
The PADI AWARE Dive Against Debris eLearning® will provide the most accessible way for Ocean Torchbearers to participate in marine debris actions at dive centers around the world – a critical shift needed in order to reach the PADI Blueprint for Action goal of reducing marine debris by 50% in target countries by 2030.
Nic and Senna, from Florida Keys Dive Center, also a recipient of a PADI AWARE Community Grant for their Marine Debris Program reports that, “In terms of helping conservation efforts as a whole, the more accessible a class is means it’s more approachable for students who can then serve as educated stewards for the ocean. With the launching of the Discover Scuba Diving eLearning, we noticed that students are more readily excited to start their online learning and apply it in person. Therefore, that same principle will be seen with Dive Against Debris and creating even more ocean ambassadors quickly.”
PADI is proud to have Seiko on board as the sponsor of the Marine Debris Program. Their support is critical to advancing the PADI Blueprint for Ocean Action and protecting the global ocean now and for generations to come.
PADI AWARE How-to Video Links:
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