In time for Earth Day, PADI is reigniting our Ocean Torchbearer initiative with a Save the Ocean Pledge, asking for a personal commitment from everyone to sign on to protect the ocean and join the world’s largest community creating ocean change.
The purpose of the Save the Ocean Pledge is to expose more people around the globe to tangible and realistic ways to engage in ocean conservation by providing a clear pathway to action in what can often be an overwhelming experience, leaving people feeling what they do doesn’t affect the big picture, or worse, doesn’t matter.
But what we do individually, and collectively, does matter, and this shared optimism and conviction that change is possible, combined with tangible PADI AWARE actions, makes the Ocean Torchbearer Community a viable solution to creating a more resilient ocean and brighter future for all.
What happens when I take the pledge?
Upon taking the Save the Ocean pledge, you begin, deepen or reignite your conservation journey with PADI. As part of the Torchbearer Community, you will be kept informed of opportunities for conservation action – like conservation courses, citizen science opportunities and policy advocacy campaigns, both above and below the surface.
Ocean Torchbearers also receive quarterly newsletters and notifications to participate in conservation campaigns throughout the year – this allows everyone (not just divers) to be part of the solution. Immediately upon taking the pledge, you will receive a series of emails onboarding you to the Torchbearer Community, informing you on the various opportunities available to you.
Here are some recent examples in which Torchbearers created notable impact:
Above the Surface Actions
- By signing an online petition and sharing images on social media, the Torchbearer Community helped protect over 50 new species of Sharks at CITES.
- They supported Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef by analyzing thousands of reef photos to allow scientists to better understand the health and state of the reef.
- Fundraising and generous donations have enabled over USD $200,000 in grant funding for local marine conservation projects that tackle marine debris, habitat loss, vulnerable species protection and climate change.
- Through PADI’s Partners The Ocean Foundation’s SeaGrass Grow Program, Torchbearers have helped restore critical and endangered seagrass and mangrove habitats in Puerto Rico.
- During the upcoming Plastic Free July, Community members will be asked to support a call to action to demand the world’s governments agree on a legally binding agreement to end plastic pollution by 2040.
Below the Surface Actions
- Through Dive Against Debris®, divers around the world have helped collect and report more than two million pieces of debris, resulting in the largest underwater citizen science database and movement for marine debris on the planet.
- By early 2024, divers will be able to participate in the AWARE Global Shark Census and Conservation Course, further advancing protection of vulnerable shark and ray species.
- Together with PADI dive operators, PADI Divers are engaging in conservation activities all around the world
What makes the Save the Ocean pledge unique?
Backed by three decades of conservation achievements through PADI AWARE Foundation and PADI Pro-led initiatives, PADI Members and Divers have implemented more than half a million discrete ocean actions. These include protecting more than 100 shark species, removing and documenting tons of ocean debris, and rescuing more than 13,500 entangled animals.
To date, PADI Mission Hubs and Eco Center Members, through Adopt the Blue, have adopted more than 1,000 dive sites for monitoring and preservation, with 10,000 dive sites set as the goal over the next few years. The PADI AWARE Foundation’s grant program has funded more than 200 local conservation projects directly related to the PADI Blueprint for Ocean Action (below).
PADI’s global community of 6,600 dive centers and resorts, 128,000 professional members and more than 29 million certified divers to date provides the scale to drive meaningful impact for the ocean.
Why should you take the Save the Ocean Pledge?
In 2020, PADI and AWARE Foundation announced the Blueprint for Ocean Action, a comprehensive strategy to empower local ocean-conservation actions for a global impact. This Blueprint addresses the five biggest issues facing our oceans: key habitat destruction (corals, mangroves and seagrass), vulnerable species loss (including apex predators), marine debris, the effects of climate change, and lack of marine protected areas.
This framework is adopted across the global PADI network and provides a roadmap for consumers connected to the global picture – meaning, the goals under the blueprint are tied to the global agenda that is followed by most organizations in order to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030. By connecting PADI’s conservation blueprint to PADI Mission Hubs, PADI Professionals, divers and Ocean Torchbearers internationally, we are taking scalable and meaningful action to help restore balance between humanity and ocean.
When you take the pledge, you are raising your hand to say that you want to be involved in being part of the solution for a healthier planet, including:
- Taking individual and collective action to tackle the ocean’s greatest challenges and protect 30% of the ocean by 2030.
- Acting as an ocean steward, exploring with care and leaving ecosystems in an equal or better state than I find them.
- Respecting culture, traveling with an open heart and mind, showing consideration for all.
- Sharing my passion to explore and protect the ocean with friends, family and my community.
You ARE part of the SOLUTION.
In 2018, PADI instituted a new global brand vision to create balance between humanity and ocean and thus the new mission of “create a billion torchbearers to explore and protect the ocean” was borne out of the necessity to bridge the gap between ‘teaching the world to dive’ and teaching them to protect the underwater world they were exploring.
From the beginning, PADI Co-Founder John Cronin knew that we – as divers – had a responsibility to protect what we love: “We want to feel that our children, their children and generations to come will be able to enjoy the underwater world that has given us so much. There are so many significant problems facing mankind, but as divers this is truly our cause. If scuba divers do not take an active role in preserving the aquatic realm, who will?