With so much beauty beneath the surface to explore, scuba enthusiasts are, naturally, a conservation-minded bunch, and none more so than members of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, who are deeply invested in raising awareness of ocean conservation and restoration.
“Our vision is to achieve balance between humanity and the ocean,” says PADI. “We will do this by rallying millions of Ocean Torchbearers — a global force for good that can be mobilized to restore ocean health and support our coastal communities around the world.”
The global diving organization is sounding a clarion call to the public to join them in their noble efforts, because the statistics surrounding ocean conservation are shocking — and climate change is largely to blame.
According to the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average temperature of the world’s sea surface has risen 1.3 C over the past century, endangering marine ecosystems beneath the surface like coral reefs, which have literally lost their vibrant color en masse due to mass bleaching events. Sea levels are rising. The very chemistry of the seas and oceans has changed. It’s more acidic — and is a less-than-favorable environment for sea creatures to thrive — due to mankind’s harmful pollution. Seagrasses and mangroves are receding rapidly, at a rate of two football fields per hour, according to a PADI blog.
“It will take all of us working together, united by our passion and armed with a clear plan of action, to turn the dial toward a healthy future for people and planet,” adds PADI.
The organization’s current campaigns are many and include Green Fins, which concentrates on preserving coral reefs; an initiative to restore blue carbon ecosystems like tidal and salt marshes; a drive to cultivate underwater vegetation in partnership with The Ocean Foundation’s SeaGrass Grow Program; Dive Against Debris, the largest citizen science movement in the world; and protecting sharks in conjunction with CITES, the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna.
“Divers are a unique and critical voice for the ocean,” says PADI. “No matter who or where you are (even whether you dive or not!), you have a valuable role to play, and your voice matters.”
PADI’s 30×30 Goal: Protect 30% of the Ocean by 2030
About 71% of Earth is covered by water — and PADI is partnering with SeaLegacy, a collective of concerned filmmakers, storytellers, and photographers, to protect 30% of the seas by 2030.
“There is still hope to save the ocean, if we come together and act now,” says PADI. “Partnering with SeaLegacy allows us to amplify the creation of meaningful and actionable steps to protect our blue planet and all life that calls it home.”
This concern and action is nothing new for the diving organization.
“PADI turns 56 this year. During this time, PADI members have made PADI the largest diver training organization on the planet,” says lifelong diver and PADI CEO and President Drew Richardson. “Your leadership and initiative are critical to delivering the brand values across the PADI Pillars of Change.
“By harnessing the power of the …….