Many news headlines about the state of the ocean, like “With Florida ocean temperatures topping 100, experts warn of damage to marine life” and “NASA clocks July 2023 as hottest month on record ever since 1880,” are simply discouraging. It’s difficult to watch something you love be impacted, especially if the issue (like climate change and plastic pollution) is global. How can one person cool down the ocean and air so that corals don’t bleach? How can one person clean the ocean?

While these events and their significance shouldn’t be ignored or diminished, there are still things that can be done. Remember, there are many other passionate people working on solutions and actions already, and you can join them!

You can turn your passion for the ocean and diving skills into action to protect it, no matter where you are. Here are several ways you can jump into action and find ocean conservation near you.

a freediver dives down to take a look at a yellow school of fish

Ocean Conservation Opportunities in the Water

Want to literally dive into action for ocean conservation? If yes, then check out conservation activities at your local dive center, become a PADI Torchbearer, or use the PADI Conservation Activities Locator!

Conservation Activities at Your Local Dive Center

Your local dive center is a great place to start looking for ocean conservation activities near you. Dive shops often participate in and offer PADI AWARE conservation programs.

The PADI AWARE Foundation is a non-profit whose mission is to drive local action for global ocean conservation. One of the ways PADI AWARE carries out this mission is by leading conservation programs, like their citizen science program, Dive Against Debris, and creating conservation courses, like Coral Reef Conservation. Local dive shops can partner with PADI AWARE by hosting Dive Against Debris events, which you can join. During these, you survey your dive site, collect marine debris and record data on the materials collected, then submit this information to a global database. This valuable information is then used to promote ocean conservation. 

Your local dive center may also offer conservation continuing education courses. Courses, such as Coral Reef Conservation, Fish Identification, and Underwater Naturalist, are great options to expand your knowledge on ocean conservation issues and actions.

female-led marine conservation projects

Join the PADI Torchbearer Community

You can also join the PADI Torchbearer Community to further your ocean conservation work. This Torchbearer Community is a group of likeminded, passionate ocean advocates taking action to protect the ocean around the world. By joining this community, you’ll be inspired to create positive change, share ideas, and influence sustainability and ocean policy. Take the save the ocean pledge today to protect and preserve the ocean!

The PADI Conservation Activities Locator

The PADI Conservation Activities Locator combines the previous two suggestions into one. It’s a digital platform that enables people to directly support, engage and learn about saving the ocean through activities and courses all over the world!

PADI Professionals, Dive Centers and Resorts can add their conservation events to the PADI Conservation Activities Locator, which will then show up on PADI Adventures. Some of the many activities listed include, Seagrass/Mangrove Restoration, Marine Life Monitoring and Reporting, Women’s Dive Day Events, and more! These events are usually shared specifically to the PADI Torchbearer Community as well!

Topside - Mountain - New South Wales

Ocean Conservation Opportunities on Land

You don’t need to be in, or even near the ocean to participate in ocean conservation. You can participate in land-based activities, such as watershed monitoring and cleanups, to make a difference as well. The water within watersheds, such as rivers and streams, eventually travels to large bodies of water, like the ocean. Whatever is in the water, including pollution, will also empty into the ocean. So ,protecting and cleaning watersheds supports ocean conservation!

Other land-based activities include working or volunteering remotely for ocean conservation organizations, watching ocean documentaries, and talking about what you learn! No matter where you are, you can find ocean conservation activities. Any local action contributes to the global impact of our collective efforts.

Ready to turn your passion into action and find ocean conservation activities near you? Check out PADI AWARE and the PADI Conservation Activities Locator today!

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