Thursday, March 20, 2014

"10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet" From Project Aware

Project AWARE (Aquatic World Awareness Responsibility and Education) is a non-profit, international organization that brings divers together and educates the public about ocean issues and how they can protect the marine environment.

If you are a scuba diver, I encourage you to learn Project AWARE's "10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet" and take the Pledge to be an eco diver and take initiative to protect the ocean and marine life.

  1. Be a buoyancy expert: Underwater plants and animals can be fragile. Be aware of the position of your body and gear while diving so you can avoid contact with the environment. Streamline your gear and stay neutrally buoyant.
  2. Be a role model: Regardless of what your experience level is with diving always set a good example for others. Both in the water and out.
  3. Take only photos - Leave only bubbles: Almost everything underwater is alive or will be used by another creature. Avoid taking or leaving anything.
  4. Protect underwater life: Touching, feeding, handling, chasing or riding anything underwater is highly discouraged. Understanding and respecting underwater life is encouraged.
  5. Become a debris activist: Almost all waste/trash/rubbish makes its way to the ocean and can disrupt and destroy animals and habitat. Remove or report what you see underwater that doesn't belong there every time you dive. Be conscious to be green.
  6. Make responsible seafood choices: Over fishing leads to species decline and extinction and as a consumer you play a crucial role. Be smart when selecting seafood. (Seafood Watch)
  7. Take action: Scuba divers can be the strongest ocean advocates. You see what happens and what's going on when you dive. Speak out about conservation (Marine Conservation Institute), share your photos (Plastic Harbor), report environmental damages (EPA Facility Search), and campaign for a change (Join the Movement).
  8. Be an eco-tourist: Be mindful and educated when choosing a destination. Choose facilities and businesses that are dedicated to responsible social and environmental practices. Be mindful of water conservation, energy reduction, proper waste disposal, use of mooring buoys and respect for local cultures, laws and regulations.
  9. Shrink your carbon footprint: Climate change and ocean acidification (Pollution Awareness and Ocean Acidification) are important issues that everyone should become aware of. Do what you can to understand what it is and how you can reduce your carbon footprint. (How big is your ecological footprint?)
  10. Give back: Invest what you can into protecting the ocean and the planet. Whether it be volunteering, public speaking, donating or fundraising; Do what you can to give back. 
Here are a few organizations I contribute to:

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