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
Rancho Santa Margarita , CA /PRNewswire/ - The Ocean Cleanup, PADI® (Professional Association of Diving Instructors®) and PADI AWARE Foundation™ announce a global partnership to tackle ocean plastic pollution. Together, the organizations will mobilize 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 organization," says Dan Leahy, Chief Development Officer of The Ocean Cleanup. "Their passion for clean oceans creates a natural fit between our organizations, 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 organization 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.
PADI® (Professional Association of Diving Instructors®) is the world's largest ocean exploration and diver organization with a global network of 6,600 dive centers and resorts and more than 128,000 professional members worldwide. Having issued more than 28 million certifications to date, PADI enables people around the world to seek adventure and save the ocean through underwater education, life-changing experiences and travel. For over 50 years, PADI is undeniably The Way the World Learns to Dive®, maintaining its high standards for dive training, safety and customer service, monitored for worldwide consistency and quality. With a longstanding commitment to environmental conservation, PADI is leading the way for millions of people to actively explore, steward and protect the ocean through its course offerings and partnerships with like-minded, mission-driven organizations. PADI embodies a global commitment to ocean health with its mission to create a billion torchbearers to explore and protect the ocean. Seek Adventure. Save the Ocean.SM www.padi.com
About The Ocean Cleanup
The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technologies to rid the world's oceans of plastic. They aim to achieve this goal by taking a two-pronged approach: stemming the inflow via rivers and cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean. For the latter, The Ocean Cleanup is developing large-scale systems to efficiently concentrate the plastic for periodic removal. This plastic will then be used to create durable products and fund continued cleanup, making cleanup itself circular. In 2019, the organization launched the other half of their solution, the Interceptor™, to extract plastic in rivers before reaching the ocean. Founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup now employs approximately 95 engineers and researchers. The foundation is headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. For more information, visit: theoceancleanup.com and follow @theoceancleanup on social media.
About PADI AWARE Foundation
PADI AWARE Foundation™ is a non-profit public charity that drives global ocean conservation through local action. PADI AWARE Foundation engages divers and people everywhere to take conservation actions that heal and protect the ocean planet both above and below the surface, further elevating and supporting PADI's vision to achieve balance between humanity and ocean. Backed by the power of the PADI® brand and supported by the world's largest global network of 6,600 dive centers and resorts and more than 128,000 professional members worldwide, PADI AWARE Foundation leverages the collective influence of divers and the dive industry to address key threats facing the marine environment including climate change, marine habitat loss and vulnerable species protection. PADI AWARE Foundation advances its mission and the PADI Blueprint for Ocean Action through underwater citizen science, public policy, education and community grants. www.padiaware.org.