This World Oceans Day, we celebrate #PADIPEOPLE who are taking action to protect our blue planet – from organising local beach clean-ups to championing coral restoration projects and running citizen science dives, it is people like you who are making a global impact and providing hope for the ocean.
Renee Street: Walking in the Name of Ocean Conservation
A 24-hour non-stop walk is no small feat, and Renee Street ( a PADI OWSI) did it in the name of ocean conservation. On a 24-hour long walk around the island of Gili Air in 2021, Renee raised awareness of 24 issues facing the ocean. This year, she plans to do the same. She states, “There are so many ways that we are causing harm. Over the 24 hours of my walk I plan to highlight 24 of them. Some of the issues are well known: plastic pollution and shark conservation. Others are less understood: ocean acidification, ocean dead zones, and more. It’s no longer about any one species… it’s about saving the ecosystem that all of these species, including humans, depend upon for life. It’s about saving the ocean itself.”
Renee’s passion for saving the ocean ecosystem is inspiring others to act. And action equals change. June 2022 will feature a second annual Ocean Walk on either Gili or Maui.
PADI Members: Taking Action with TrshBgs
900 Trshbgs have been deployed to the US to support efforts to clean the ocean! Trshbgs are wearable diving (or snorkelling, swimming and even land-based activities) trash clean up bags. Conveniently attaching at the waist, hip, foot or calf, they allow PADI members to make every underwater adventure a clean-up opportunity. As #PADIPeople we have pledged to be ambassadors for the ocean, and picking up just a few pieces of trash every dive fulfils our pledge! The future is planned for with more bags expected to arrive next year.
Gill Roberts: Creating the Next Generation of Ocean Ambassadors
As principal of Star International School Mirdif (Dubai), Gill Roberts leads an entire staff body (most of whom are PADI certified divers). Gill has integrated ocean conservation into their school programme. In the “Ocean Ambassadors” programme, students worked with data from a staff-led clean-up dive and assessed global trends. Children are being educated on the detrimental effects of littering on marine life, and even designing their own artificial coral reef systems! Not only are his efforts helping to clean up our current world, but they are also preparing the next generation to do the same.
Emerald Coast Scuba: Diving Against Debris in Florida
Leader of Emerald Coast Scuba Dive Against Debris, Scott Cole has teamed up with local divers to battle against plastic pollution in the Gulf of Mexico and other coastal waterways. In making every dive a clean-up dive, Scott is ridding the area of lead weights and monofilament with an aim to clean up the underwater world. According to Scott, “As scuba divers, we are in the unique position to be able to actually clean up the underwater world, at almost all depths. Every dive we pick up trash. On this last dive, I probably picked up five 8-ounce-or-bigger lead weights and a bunch of monofilament (plastic fishing line). I personally dive 6 times a week, picking up two to five pounds of trash each time.”
Scott is providing a hugely beneficial impact on the surrounding ocean environment! As a result, coral is returning and marine life remains healthy.
Share Your Stories of Hope Rising
Ocean lovers are taking action, and hope is rising worldwide. #PADIPeople are leading Torchbearers for ocean conservation. As divers, we must continue to inspire others around the world. With inspiration comes action, and we must act!
Share your own inspirational stories with the diving community and beyond. Post your stories, videos, photos, and more to your social media channels tagging PADI and #PADIPeople.