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September is Marine Debris Month as scuba divers DIVE AGAINST DEBRIS

(DiverWire) Marine Debris Month of Action begins tomorrow. When it does, thousands of volunteer divers around the world will kick-start a new, year-round underwater Dive Against Debris program.

“We are excited that our new Dive Against Debris program focuses efforts on what only divers can do underwater,” said Jenny Miller Garmendia, Executive Director for Project AWARE Foundation. “Divers have been involved in removing debris for more than 18 years. Now, we’re combining cleanup dives with a year-round, comprehensive data collection effort to address marine debris issues at the source. And the underwater data and debris we’ll collect during the Debris Month of Action will continue to be shared with our long term partner, Ocean Conservancy.”

Marine debris – or human trash that litters the ocean – is finally gaining ground on international policy agendas. Scientists, resource managers and governments increasingly see it as one of the most serious ocean issues of our time. It’s a pervasive problem, harmful to our health, our marine environments and deadly to marine life.

But despite various data collected in the marine realm today, we don’t know enough about marine debris underwater. Dive Against Debris is the first program of its kind to engage divers as citizen scientists in reporting comprehensive data about the debris they encounter underwater – anytime and anywhere.

“A baseline of information is desperately needed and will be critical for preventing, reducing and managing marine debris,” says Garmendia. “But more than that, we as divers, need to show the rest of the world the enormity of the ocean trash problem. It’s the first step to push for change.”

Some steps divers can take to help make Dive Against Debris a success during September’s Debris Month of Action, and all year round.

  1. Join the growing movement to protect the ocean planet from the onslaught of marine debris at www.projectaware.org.
  2. Take part during September’s Debris Month of Action. Visit www.projectaware.org/project/debris-month-action to get started.
  3. Help fund community action and solutions to marine debris problems. Pledge your support as an individual or corporation at www.projectaware.org/donate.

Project AWARE Foundation is a global movement of scuba divers protecting the ocean planet – one dive at a time. Focused on the critical issues of Sharks in Peril and Marine Debris, Project AWARE empowers thousands of divers in more than 180 countries to work together for a clean, healthy and abundant ocean planet. Project AWARE Foundation is a registered non-profit organization.

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