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The Children’s Clean Ocean Summit

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This past June, nearly 300 kids from six Austrian schools gathered for the world’s first Children’s Clean Ocean Summit, titled “The Last Whale” and held at the United Nations in Vienna. The summit was run entirely by kids and involved them exploring the complex issue of plastic ocean pollution, teaching each other about solutions, then each voting for the three they found most critical. The summit culminated in the signing of their Children’s Clean Ocean Declaration, which shares their feelings and priorities and will be delivered to all world governments.

The echoes of that event continue to resonate, finding their way so far into articles in six languages across the globe, and now to the world of scuba. It was an unprecedented event and may hopefully mark the beginning of new possibilities for children to powerfully participate in our world’s environmental narrative.

Here, Founder of the Kids Save Ocean Project, Peder Hill, shares their story:

How the Project Started – The Last Whale Sculpture

Children are deeply horrified by the growing tragedy of ocean plastic pollution. And two years ago the 12-year olds at my school and I (Peder (Mr. Hill), their art and biology teacher), decided to bring attention to the issue by building a 15-foot long humpback whale sculpture made from the same rubbish that desecrates our ocean’s beauty. We titled it “The Last Whale” in recognition of what will happen if we don’t change. After building it, however, we felt it wouldn’t change anything hanging in our school, as beautiful as it was. If it would have any impact, that whale, in spirit and in reality, would have to swim far beyond.

So we approached the United Nations with the concept of the summit, which they embraced, beginning a collaboration that would also include installation of the whale sculpture at the UN for the week that included World Environment Day and World Oceans Day, fulfilling its purpose. The whale is also scheduled for exhibition at Austria’s biggest aquarium, the Haus des Meeres, in 2020, after a new wind is finished. We’re seeking additional placements if you happen to know anybody.

The Project’s Massive Growth

I deeply believe that giving children a voice is vital to humanity’s future. And it turns out I definitely wasn’t the only one. To run a massive summit with just a teacher and a handful of scrappy passionate kids wouldn’t have been possible, so I turned to the global platform VolunteerMatch, and very quickly wonderful people from around the world joined me with the goal of empowering kids to not just learn about plastic ocean pollution, but DO something.

Hundreds of volunteers have come forward, including six app developers who are coding my Fatechanger app, an education and lobbying app designed to give kids a voice. Though unfinished, the app has already been taken up by the German Federal Ministry in its Ocean Plastics Lab international traveling exhibition, which showcases the contribution of science to understand and tackle the problem of plastics in the ocean. I’m currently in the process of forming the Kids Save Ocean non-profit to bring the project to scale.

20 Years Before in Cali

Long before fate swept me to Vienna, Austria, where I’d form the Kids Save Ocean project, and before the 200-plus volunteers flooded in to help me give kids a voice about the ocean and before the whale and the Summit at the UN and before being contacted by CNN about our efforts. Before all that, 20 years back, I remember a bolt blue sky above a clear Santa Cruz morning as my sister and I explored the hills of kelp heaped along the beach, washed up by the monster waves of a huge storm the night before. In amongst it were packages and containers from Japan, fishing gear, tourist beach trash, cigarette buts, even an ocean-cold Budweiser, which we promptly cracked and downed on the spot. Among piles of kelp, the global scatterlings of plastic junk.

In the two decades since that sunny harbinger of a morning, additional billions of pounds have accumulated in our seas, each piece of which will break down into tinier and tinier pieces, releasing toxins and being mistaken for food for hundreds of years. In another 20 years, what will our oceans look like? A frightening question.

Why form the Kids Save Ocean non-profit? Children deserve a voice in this world for one. And maybe, maybe, empowering them with a voice may be the help we so desperately need.

A Future: the Kids Save Ocean Mission Statement

Our core mission is to give children everywhere a voice about our planet’s environment, a mission we currently approach through our mobile app development, our work with the United Nations, and our exhibitions. Integral to that mission is providing teachers with a platform to deeply engage their students about plastic ocean pollution and the critically related issue of sustainability. We’re currently moving toward becoming a dynamic youth-centered non-profit to give children a powerful voice both now and forever.

For more information please visit the Kids Save Ocean website by clicking here.

News

Dive Holiday Deals from Diverse Travel

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Planning your next dive holiday? Check out the latest special offers from UK-based Tour Operator Diverse Travel and get yourself a great dive holiday deal!

INDONESIA | MY Emperor Harmoni | Bali, Sumbawa & Komodo | 15 – 23 September 2022

Save up to 1/3 off a trip to Indonesia!

Your chance to dive Bali, Komodo and Raja Ampat aboard the NEW luxury MY Emperor Harmoni for less!

Launching in September 2022. Emperor Harmoni is Emperor Divers Indonesia’s brand new liveaboard.

Built of Sulawesi Ironwood and offering a truly new experience to liveaboard holidays, experience a true sense of sailing the Indonesian seas in freedom, style, comfort and confidence with her two engines. Enjoy spacious diving and relaxation areas or relax with a massage on deck.

Example price based on Bali departure to Komodo

WAS £2900 / NOW from just £1995* per person based on sharing a twin luxury cabin including:

  • 1 night in Bali before the boat departure with airport transfers
  • One way flight from Labuan Bajo to Bali after the liveaboard with 20kgs baggage
  • 7 nights onboard MY Emperor Harmoni with 3 meals a day, afternoon snacks, unlimited drinking water, tea & coffee
  • All diving with guide, cylinders & weights, Marine Park & Port Fees
  • Free Nitrox
  • 1 cocktail party on a local island (weather allowing)
  • Return airport transfers

* Price excludes international flights, these can be quoted at the time of reservation

Booking deadline: Subject to availability.

Other Dates available – book before 30 September!


MALTA | Dolmen Hotel | 28 September – 05 October 2022

With easily accessible dive sites offering great visibility, caves, overhangs and swim-throughs, with few currents, Malta is an ideal diving holiday location.

A modern hotel, with spacious, comfortable guest rooms and a choice of restaurants with delicious international and national cuisine. Several wonderfully relaxing bars, outdoor and indoor pools, plus a casino and several function rooms.

Price from just £975 per person and includes:

  • Flights from Gatwick to Malta with 23kgs baggage
  • 7 nights in twin room
  • Bed & Breakfast meal plan
  • 5 day / 10 dives diving with guide, tanks & weights

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – alternative dates available


MALDIVES | Emperor Atoll | Best of Maldives | 10 – 18 September  2022

This popular liveaboard and her crew give a personalised welcome to small groups of no more than 12 guests.

Built to high, comfortable standards she measures 26 metres and accommodates guests in 6 twin-berth cabins, all with air-conditioning and private bathrooms.

From just £1925 per person based on sharing a twin cabin including:

  • Flights from London to Male with 30kgs baggage
  • 7 nights in shared cabin
  • 3 meals a day, afternoon snacks, unlimited drinking water, tea & coffee
  • 6 days’ diving – total of 17 dives (incl. 1 night dive), guide, cylinders & weights
  • Free Nitrox
  • 1 BBQ dinner on uninhabited island (weather allowing)
  • Malé city tour (on request)
  • Return airport transfers

Booking deadline: Subject to availability.


EGYPT | Emperor Superior | Reefs & Wrecks | 11 – 18 November 2022

A very popular liveaboard, Emperor Superior offers fantastic diving in comfortable surroundings. Her experienced crew make this one of the best for divers in the Red Sea.

NOW from just £1255 per person based on sharing a twin cabin including:

  • Flights from Gatwick to Hurghada with 23kgs baggage
  • 7 nights in shared cabin
  • 3 meals a day, soft drinks, red wine with dinner
  • 6 days’ diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights, Marine Park fees and port departure fees
  • Free Nitrox
  • Airport transfers

Booking deadline: Subject to availability. Limited spaces available.


EGYPT | Emperor Echo | South & St Johns Itinerary | 05 – 12 January 2023

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. Great value for money and perfect for small groups of buddies with a ‘Book 5 and 1 dives for FREE’ offer all year round.

Price NOW from just £1035 per person based on sharing a twin cabin/room including:

  • Flights from Gatwick to Hurghada with 23kgs baggage
  • 7 nights in shared cabin
  • 3 meals a day, soft drinks, red wine with dinner
  • 6 days’ diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights, Marine Park fees and port departure fees
  • Free Nitrox

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price.

Alternative departure airports available at a supplement.


All offers are subject to availability. Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002, email the team at  info@diversetravel.co.uk or click HERE to see the latest special offers on their website.

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Gear Reviews

Gear Review: Mares EOS LRZ Torch Range

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What does LRZ stand for I hear you ask? The answer is: LED lights, Rechargeable, Zoomable. Mares have created a versatile set of seven underwater lights in the new range to suit all needs and budgets.

I tested the most powerful of them – the EOS 32LRZ at Capernwray on a cold but bright spring day. I was diving with Alex Mustard, and so all the underwater images are by him, showing me trying out the torch in both the shallows and in some of the wrecks at this site.

All the torches in the new line have an LED visual battery charge indicator that allows you to keep the battery level under control.

Want to use it out of the water? No problem! The new EOS LRZ torches feature an innovative temperature control system that allows you to use them both underwater and on land. I can see myself using this on gloomy dog walks later in the year!

As you can see from the video I filmed just after getting back from a dive, the torch is easy to use, even with thick gloves in cold water. The zoomable light beam means that you can highlight a particular spot, or have a wide beam, which is great for both modeling for a photographer, and exploring different underwater environments.

The EOS 32LRZ has a powerful beam with 3200 lumens of power and 135 minutes of burn time. Perfect for some of the darker dives you can experience in the UK, but also for exploring overhead or enclosed environments. I easily got 2 long dives out of a single charge, and then was able to recharge it in my car using a USB cable on the way home, ready for the next day of diving.

The look and feel of these torches are great. In your hand you can feel the quality of the torches. They are solid and well built. They also look great. Each torch in the range comes with a padded case to keep them safe during transport.

For more, visit the Mares website by clicking here.

All underwater images by Alex Mustard

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Save up to 1/3 off a trip to Indonesia! Your chance to dive Bali, Komodo and Raja Ampat aboard the NEW luxury MY Emperor Harmoni for less! Launching in September 2022. Emperor Harmoni is Emperor Divers Indonesia’s brand new liveaboard. Built of Sulawesi Ironwood and offering a truly new experience to liveaboard holidays, experience a true sense of sailing the Indonesian seas in freedom, style, comfort and confidence with her two engines. Enjoy spacious diving and relaxation areas or relax with a massage on deck. Example price based on Bali departure to Komodo WAS £2900 / NOW from just £1995* per person based on sharing a twin luxury cabin including: 1 night in Bali before the boat departure with airport transfers One way flight from Labuan Bajo to Bali after the liveaboard with 20kgs baggage 7 nights onboard MY Emperor Harmoni with 3 meals a day, afternoon snacks, unlimited drinking water, tea & coffee All diving with guide, cylinders & weights, Marine Park & Port Fees Free Nitrox 1 cocktail party on a local island (weather allowing) Return airport transfers * Price excludes international flights, these can be quoted at the time of reservation Booking deadline: Subject to availability. Other Dates available - book before 30 September! Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk. More Less

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