As a diver, we often know more than others the damage plastics can do to our oceans. We can all see on dives the litter and rubbish that ends up in our oceans. Luckily you are not alone in wanting to help fight back. This is where Project AWARE comes in, to allow the community of divers to come together and have a real impact. Project AWARE is a global movement of scuba divers protecting what we love the most, our ocean. This may seem like a big mission statement but Project AWARE believe with one diver at a time, this can be achieved. Project AWARE allows divers to feel empowered to aim for a clean healthy ocean, with global partnerships and the real power to make a changes. From physically cleaning up our oceans, offering extra protection to the most vulnerable marine species, to policy changes in government, to offering protection in the future, diving AWARE can really make a difference worldwide.
Project AWARE allows anyone to get involved, with the current focus on Tackling marine Debris, Stopping ocean plastics and Protecting Sharks and Rays. In 2011, Project AWARE launched its flagship program – Dive Against Debris. The program is the only underwater debris collection of its kind helping to improve the condition of our ocean ecosystem. Through volunteer’s efforts vital data is collected regarding the debris in our waters. Since the programs launch, more than 30,000 divers have reported and removed over 1 million pieces of rubbish. As more and more data is collected, the underwater “out of sight” problem can be brought to light, and help identify target areas where help is needed the most. Adopt a Dive site is a follow on campaign to Dive Against Debris, for those wishing to take the fight against debris to the next level – dive centres and participants will make a monthly commitment to a local dive site, providing ongoing reports from the same location. This provides constant data to really understand the impact our trash is having on our underwater world, resulting in real regulation changes to waste management Over 300 dive sites have now being adopted by voluntary divers, this will result in real changes for this sites.
As divers, we all have a passion for what lies beneath our waters and oceans. Scuba Leeds shares this same drive to care for our dive sites and ocean. Scuba Leeds is a 100% AWARE dive centre. Every Certificate Card a customer earns we make a donation to Project AWARE. Furthermore this helps provide vital funding for on going projects such as Shark Protection There are a few simple ways all divers can make every dive an AWARE Dive. First step is making sure every dive you do, you Dive AWARE. Buoyancy is key to protecting delicate underwater surfaces. Fins touching sensitive bottoms or corals do lasting damage. On a rocky or sandy bottom underwater life and plants can be damaged by a thump from a fin. Every time you enter the water ensure all equipment is clipped in and streamlined. Divers want to keep fins and equipment from dragging over surfaces causing damage. As a 100% AWARE dive centre we will be undertaking monthly Dive Against Debris dives. We hope this makes a real impact on our local dive sites and provide vital data to Project AWARE. For more information please visit www.projectAWARE.org or visit the Scuba Leeds Facebook page for future Dive Against Debris events.