As divers, we’ve all seen firsthand the effects of carelessly discarded trash and debris that eventually makes its way to the seabed, and we all know that it is a very sad sight indeed. Even if we don’t witness marine animals entrapped in refuse — a true worst case scenario — it is disheartening to see any kind of trash littering the coral reefs and rock formations that so many life forms depend on for habitat.
But as divers, we also know there is more we can do than simply shed tears over it; we are in a unique position to be a unified team that oversees the removal of trash from the seabed on any dive, at any time. And that’s exactly what Project AWARE’s Debris Month of Action is aimed at: bringing divers together to continuously return our oceans to the natural state they belong in.
Debris Month of Action is a special month of awareness, and of course, action, that encourages certified divers to take part in worldwide efforts to clean up our marine ecosystems. Although the campaign focuses on the month of September, the message and ideal of Debris Month of Action is to always look for opportunities to clean up the sea, which are virtually endless when you consider that an estimated 6 million tons of litter enters the world’s oceans every year.
Participants in Project AWARE’s Debris Month of Action are encouraged to record and report the data of their missions online, which helps to increase understanding of marine litter trends in specific areas over time. This data is crucial not only for continued cleanup, but for creating policies in the future that address marine litter head-on and for learning how to prevent the problem, rather than simply mitigate it.
This video outlines the easy steps you need to take to participate in Debris Month of Action, and you can find more details on their site. If you’re a certified diver who cares about the future of marine ecosystems, you have all the requirements necessary to join this cause!