Marine Life & Conservation
PADI and The Ocean Cleanup join forces to tackle ocean plastic
Combining advanced environmental technologies with the world’s largest dive community to inform long-term solutions to rid the oceans of plastic from the surface to sea floor.
The Ocean Cleanup, PADI® and PADI AWARE Foundation have announced a global partnership to tackle ocean plastic pollution. Together, the organisations will mobilise divers on a local level to take action for global impact through the implementation of citizen science research. The joint project pairs The Ocean Cleanup’s advanced technologies with the passion of the global dive community to inform ocean-friendly waste management policies in countries worldwide through data collection.
“We’re excited to be working together with the world’s leading diving organistion,” says Dan Leahy, Chief Development Officer of The Ocean Cleanup. “Their passion for clean oceans creates a natural fit between our organisations, and I’m delighted we can scale our data and research capability through their dedicated community of divers.” In addition to its ocean cleanup efforts, the organisation is developing solutions to intercept plastic pollution in the top 1,000 most polluting rivers emitting waste into the ocean. Through the installation of Interceptors in these rivers, The Ocean Cleanup aims to stop 80 percent of riverine plastic pollution from entering the ocean.
“By combining the ingenuity of The Ocean Cleanup’s Interceptors, which remove floating plastic, with the passion and perspective of the global dive community working to save the ocean below the surface through citizen science, this monumental partnership is poised to inform waste management solutions that will significantly reduce marine debris from the surface to the sea floor,” says Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI. “The success of preventative and lasting solutions on a global scale will only be possible through local community engagement.”
PADI’s vast network of dive centers, dive professionals, divers and other ocean advocates will drive the joint citizen science effort through regular debris surveys both at the surface and underwater in areas near The Ocean Cleanup’s Interceptors and the surrounding oceanic dive sites. The data collected, including the amount and type of waterborne plastic pollution found, will be invaluable in providing insights to governments around the world as they establish and evolve policy regarding solid waste management.
The joint citizen science campaign will be trialed in Malaysia this year, working closely with PADI dive shops in the vicinity of the Klang River where an Interceptor will be placed. Working together with local partners and the government, the PADI dive community in the region will collect data in local waters through regular river surveys, ocean surface surveys and Dive Against Debris® surveys on the seafloor. The PADI AWARE Foundation’s Community Grant program will help provide critical resource support to PADI Dive Centers and Resorts during the implementation of the project.
This project in Malaysia will set the precedent for future efforts worldwide in one of the most ambitious citizen science projects ever taken on by the dive community. Following a successful pilot project, PADI and The Ocean Cleanup will establish future efforts near heavily polluting waterways around the world, including areas of Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, the United States, Jamaica, and Thailand, and ultimately in the 186 countries around the world where PADI operates.
To stay informed about how you can get involved in this global citizen science project above and below the surface, join the community of PADI Torchbearers united in the effort to explore and protect the ocean at padi.com/conservation.
Header Image: Interceptor in Malaysia. Credit: The Ocean Cleanup
Marine Life & Conservation
PADI partners with global skincare brand Medik8
PADI®’s global non-profit the AWARE Foundation™ is teaming up with leading sustainability-focused skincare brand Medik8 to save our most critical ecosystem on the planet – the ocean.
As the new corporate sponsor of the PADI AWARE Foundation’s 2023 Community Grant Programme, Medik8 will be supporting four grassroots conservation projects that range from protecting megafauna like turtles and whales from entanglement to fuelling hands-on citizen science initiatives like seagrass restoration.
The PADI AWARE Community Grant Programme is designed to award ocean protection initiatives that are in direct support of the United Nations Decade of Science for Sustainable Development in five distinct categories: coral restoration, developing marine protected areas, eliminating marine debris, reducing the effects of climate change, and protecting species threatened with extinction like sharks and turtles. In 2022 PADI AWARE™ dedicated nearly one-quarter of its public funds to empower local communities to take action for our shared blue planet.
“Last year we launched the Grant Programme to directly support PADI Members and NGOs driving meaningful conservation projects, often who have little or no funding support,” says Danna Moore, PADI AWARE Foundation’s Global Director. “This year, due to the collaboration with Medik8, we can provide more resources directly to local communities that need them most. Medik8 is a like-minded organisation that shares our science-based, sustainability-driven, and community-oriented values – and will be a strong partner committed to helping us create positive ocean change.”
Medik8’s support of the PADI AWARE Community Grants programme is in line with their ethos of making a positive impact through driving sustainability strategies with everything they do – from reducing carbon impact and waste to investing in being an ethical business with direct social investments. Their connection and deep love for the ocean is rooted in Medik8’s founder Elliot Isaacs, who is a PADI Master Scuba Diver™.
“As a brand, we strongly believe that increased social investment will allow us to make a more significant mark on wider society,” says Alexandra Florea, Head of Sustainability at Medik8. “Working with grassroots organisations who understand exactly what is needed on the ground will mean we can generate the greatest impact. We chose PADI as our long-term charitable partner because, like us, they put science at the heart of everything they do to bring about positive results.”
The PADI AWARE Grantee projects Medik8 is sponsoring fuel the impact of local citizen science initiatives driving global change like Kosamare Seagrass Restoration in Greece, a grant recipient from 2022 and now 2023. The other three grantee projects have also been selected and range from marine debris removal to climate change mitigation – and are set to be announced in the coming months.
The PADI AWARE Community Grant programme is open to all PADI Dive Centres around the world, along with locally-based NGOs and charities working on marine conservation issues that operate on a budget below $1 Million USD.
“With incredible partners like Medik8 who are equally committed to creating positive ocean change, a swell of hope for our shared blue planet is becoming stronger with every project we support – further proving that the ripples from local action really do have a global impact for us all,” says Moore.
The next round of proposal submissions is on 4 April 2023, with more information at www.padi.com/aware/grant-funding-criteria.
Marine Life & Conservation
Win ‘Gold Rush’ Mako Shark Sculpture worth £7,000
One lucky person is set to win a stunning, life-sized mako shark sculpture worth more than £7,000 for just £5 thanks to a lottery initiative developed by the internationally acclaimed marine wildlife sculptor Scott Glee to support Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation.
Tickets to win ‘Gold Rush’, an electric blue 7-ft mako shark sculpture with a 24-carat gold leaf dorsal fin have just gone on sale at https://tinyurl.com/win-gold-rush, with all proceeds supporting the UK charity’s campaigns to make Britain shark fin free.
The high impact artwork has been created to raise awareness of the global and unsustainable marine ‘gold rush’ to hunt sharks for their valuable fins alone and to help fund Bite-Back’s campaigns to end the UK’s trade in shark products.
Individual lottery tickets to win the sculpture are being sold exclusively through the Bite-Back website for £5 each plus money saving ticket deals in groups of 5, 10, 15 and 25 units.
Crafted from fibreglass, the dramatic, one-off sculpture has been sealed in a weatherproof clear coat providing the winner with the option of displaying Gold Rush indoors and out.
Artist Scott Gleed said: “I can’t think of a better way to announce yourself as a shark fan than a 7-ft shark in your garden, house or workplace. Sharks have been in my blood for decades and this is an opportunity for me to express my love of sharks and my anger at their exploitation in one piece of art. On top of that it’s a huge pleasure to support the hardest working shark charity in the UK. I hope this unique piece goes to a great home and raises thousands of pounds for Bite-Back’s campaigns.”
Tickets will be on sale for just 10 weeks before the winning ticket is picked by the artist himself after the 12 May 2023 deadline.
Campaign director for Bite-Back, Graham Buckingham, said: “This is a breath-taking piece of art with an important story to tell. Fins are the most valuable part of a shark and, around the world, fishing fleets are in a race to hunt sharks and separate the fins from the body with no thought to the global catastrophe that could follow. We expect this artwork to help draw attention to the issue and contribute important funds for our campaigns to end the UK’s role in the shark fin trade. We’re full of gratitude to Scott for his vision, generosity, and contribution to our vital work.”
Visit https://tinyurl.com/win-gold-rush to buy your tickets now and visit www.gleed3d.com to learn more about Scott’s sculptures and the chance to commission your own marine masterpiece.
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