We live on a lovely planet full of wonderful places and natural surprises. In order to keep that way we have to care for ourselves, and others. Unfortunately, human nature has led us to continually polluting the beautiful planet that we live on. As divers, we spend a lot of time in the ocean and have seen how waste is affecting it. Human waste and the fishing industry are the two main causes of trash in our oceans. As part of our Divemaster internship at XTC Dive Center, we become DAD divers, or Divers Against Debris. During this PADI course, we learn about how to collect trash from a surveyed area, report it to the Project AWARE database, and become part of a citizen science project that monitors rubbish levels in the sea, all over the world.
Removing trash from the ocean is an important part of improving the marine ecosystem for the wildlife that lives in it and the divers that enjoy it alike. While simply going out and collecting trash is an excellent way to participate in this noble venture, we can take this one step further by collecting data about exactly where the trash was found, what type of trash it was, what conditions the trash was found in, and much more. This additional data is important to follow trash trends in the area so we can better understand how the flow of trash in the area is changing, what the source might be, and how we can better manage trash in the area to keep it from ending up in the ocean in the first place.
Divers Against Debris is a PADI system of collecting and cataloging trash in the ocean. It is a tried and true system with a strong data-driven backend that will hopefully allow us to systematically reduce the problem of trash in the ocean in the near future and for future generations to come.
Here are 6 great reasons to join the DAD team today:
1) DAD is a well structured and proven way to help improve the marine environment
2) You can become an integral part of a global community working together to reduce the human impact on our oceans
3) You will gain a better understanding of how trash moves through specific ocean spaces based on times of the year and various weather conditions
4) You will learn methods for removing larger, heavier, and more hazardous trash
5) You will become a member of Project AWARE, a larger community of people working on various projects to improve the environmental conditions of our ocean planet
6) You will gain the tools to become a community leader and lead the charge against oceanic debris in ocean environments around the world
Visit https://www.projectaware.org/ today to find out more about becoming a DAD diver and joining the Project AWARE community.
By Sam Nuttmann, Ethan Davies, Angie Valadez and Benjamin Coste