Monday, March 4, 2013

Project AWARE // Diving For Something More

I haven't written about an environmental topic in quite a while, and because it's a primary foundation of the ArtSea Chic blog, I wanted to take the beginning of this week to shed light on a very inspirational movement happening in our waters around the world, one diver at a time.

About 6 MILLION TONS of trash from waterways enter our oceans every year, but it doesn't stop there. Once in the ocean, about 90% of the trash is plastic, entangling or becoming ingested by seabirds, seals, and approximately 260 other species of marine life causing them to die. Due to the pounding of the waves and currents year round, 70% of the trash sinks down to the ocean floor doing even more harm to reefs, habitats, and marine life health.

Yup, those are golf balls from the ocean spelling "TRASH".

The cause of death for billions of marine life animals and habitats worldwide could be averted if we kept our beaches, lakes, harbors, and rivers clean, if businesses took more responsibility for their actions and were penalized for illegal dumping, if plastic production levels were reduced, and if more people joined environmental movements like Project AWARE.

180 countries strong, Project AWARE Foundation is made up of scuba divers who are breaking waves to remove underwater debris and record their findings in data to influence policy makers to have stricter laws on plastic use and disposal.
Project AWARE was founded in 1989 by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), the largest scuba diver training organization in the world. Today, Project AWARE is a non-profit foundation with environmental organization partnerships, spreading the word about the movement to a cleaner environment in our oceans and waterways, both freshwater and saltwater.

Scuba divers, as you can imagine, see what's happening to the oceans first-hand on every dive, and now they're on a mission to position themselves directly in the forefront on conservation to make a positive, long-lasting impact on each dive they take, and inspire new scuba divers to do the same. Watch the video below to see how divers are getting involved through Project AWARE:

Now that you're familiar with the initiatives of Project AWARE, how about take part in a beach cleanup at the closest beach in your area? Or get a group of friends together to cleanup trash from a river or lake bank, or even better, become a certified scuba diver and join a Project AWARE foundation group in your area. Watch how one diving group is making a difference in Thiland's Similan Islands:

Find a list of some of the local upcoming events through Project AWARE advocates by searching the project map.

Follow Project AWARE Foundation on Facebook!

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