Project AWARE: Active in the oceans of the world

By Dave Armstrong - 21 Jun 2012 8:2:55 GMT
Project AWARE: Active in the oceans of the world

'Project AWARE' conservation on your marine doorstep, part of the Dive Against Debris campaign; Credit: © Project AWARE Foundation/Ocean Action Project (OAP)

The diving organisation Project AWARE is a 20-year-old group of thousands of scuba divers who care passionately about our marine environment. Together they have picked on two major areas to help out with marine conservation problems, given their unique insight into our watery surround.

"Sharks in Peril" is a commendable area in which to put your toe in the water. The knowledge we have of some sharks is impressive, but many species are unknown or almost! What did you do the last time something like an angel shark washed up on a beach near you? Here is their user-friendly approach for new divers or just for those who like to snorkel around the shore and some background on the Project AWARE Foundation:

"Dive Against Debris" - the second area Project AWARE choose for action is equally, if not more important. While sharks are icons of conservation and anyone near the sea can find a local representative of the group, litter in the form of marine debris, has never been done before.

This kind of clean-up campaign is different. Instead of sending kids to pick up litter, this campaign concentrates on "Marine Debris." This flotsam and jetsam gathers from every square metre of the planet to dump on the ocean. To reduce the darned stuff, prevent it and manage it is the aim of Project AWARE.

From the middle of the Pacific to the underwater data from divers themselves, plastic, metal and other solid waste is killing off species, hindering reproduction (and rarely, forming a coral reef!) Well there's some good everywhere, as those in this campaign will discover.

Basically, these conservation-minded divers will be blowing the whistle on debris and following all developments from the policy and strategy that emerged from the Honolulu Commitment on marine debris. The video again shows their efforts are tremendously effective in the fight for the oceans.

For those of our readers who want to jump in and help, the OAP toolkit and application form plus other Project AWARE conservation activities are available via:

The Ocean Action Project download is for any project you particularly find useful for grassroots work or perhaps something more demanding. It certainly would help to keep in touch with like minded people who may even be able to help in the area you want to work.

By 30th August, a winner of a public vote will be decided and extra help will be at hand, applications by any potential ocean heroes need to be submitted by August 1st. Perhaps you don't mind the winning. It's the taking part that counts, particularly for an actual OAP like myself!

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Topics: Ocean