2021 is a critical year for the ocean, packed with major decision making moments that will in many ways define the future of our marine ecosystems.

Now more than ever is the time to come together, re-energize and remind ourselves “why” in our shared mission to #savetheocean. PADI will continue to lead the way towards a healthier future and we invite each and every one of you to join us in renewed hope for people and planet.

Want to take action to #savetheocean? Here’s some promising campaigns to get behind!

The Problem: Habitat Loss

The Solution: Protect 30% of the Ocean by 2030

Campaign: WSL’s 30 by 30 “We Are One Ocean” Petition

Come together with divers, surfers, sailors and other ocean-advocates to defend the foundations of life in our ocean through the creation of new Marine Protected Areas. Studies have shown that when we give ecosystems a chance to recover, they do. Consensus from leading scientists states that 30% of our oceans need to be protected by 2030 in order to protect and recover 100% of it. 2021 is the year global decision makers decide whether to bother. Let them know you care!

The Problem: Climate Change

The Solution: Restore the ocean’s carbon storage abilities

Campaign: The Ocean Foundation’s SeaGrass Grow Program

Seagrass, Mangroves and Salt Marshes absorb a staggering amount of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. Called “Blue Carbon”, these ecosystems are up to 35x more effective than Amazon Rainforests at carbon capture and storage. Unfortunately, they are being lost at the rate of two football feilds per hour! As divers, we need to raise awareness and get busy replanting these vital ecosystems. The added benefit? These ecosystems also provide the foundations for life in our oceans and keep our coral reefs buzzing with life, so it’s really a no brainer.

The Problem: Overfishing

The Solution: Establish sustainable fishing policies by law

Campaign: Project AWARE’s Make Time for Mako’s Campaign

The world’s fastest shark – the Mako Shark – is the posterchild for overfishing in the Atlantic Ocean. Despite widespread support for tighter laws around fishing that ensure sustainable fisheries, the EU and USA are blocking protections. As a result, decision making has been delayed till November 2021. Until then, unsustainable fishing will continue unchecked. Write to your representative to let them know that you support greater protections for Mako Sharks in the Atlantic, especially if you are an EU or USA citizen!

The Problem: Plastic Pollution

The Solution: Evidence the scale of the problem in order to push for new regulations that stem the flow of plastic into the ocean.

Campaign: Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris Program

The Dive Against Debris Program is a global citizen science program based on the removal and prevention of plastics in our oceans. As divers, we are in a unique position to remove and report marine debris where we see it. This data has formed the world’s first peer-reviewed global assessment of marine debris, which can be used to create future protections for the ocean and stem the flow of new plastics into the ocean. Download My Ocean App and get reporting!

We asked, and you answered – Why is saving the ocean important to you?

“The ocean constantly reminds me that there is more than what is right before my eyes. There are worlds beyond, below, above. It’s a place of exploration and a place to call home. The ocean is our evolutionary heartland, and our enduring friend through the development of world cultures and arts. Saving the ocean is saving our connection to connection to the past and defending an evermore beautiful future.”

– Viola Z

“The ocean keeps me sane, keeps my mental health in check, keeps my body balanced. The sound of the waves is soothing, like a lullaby. Being in the water is like a cradle and the marine life is soothing to the eyes and soul.”

– Asrar M

“The ocean is so important to our survival. It is important to us and future generations, not just for the continuation of society but also to satisfy our curiosity and sense of adventure.”

– Cassie W

“The ocean is an important part of the entire earth! Without it, we’re at risk of extinction. Starvation, Climate Change… the world starts and ends with our oceans.”

– Tricia H

“Every single life on earth is dependant on the ocean. Its not about ‘you and I’, it’s about ‘us’. The ocean is our survival.”

– Brian V

“Saving the ocean is saving humanity. No one can exist without the other, we are all one. We are a cycle of life with have to give back and save the ocean for our next generation to be able to live. So much to see and so much to explore beyond the waves down to the ocean floor.”

– Soltera P

“Saving the ocean is important for me because it’s where we do that great sport! It’s our duty to clean this fundamental part of the planet. Go dive and clean!”

– Nicola A

“Long enough I was scared of the ocean, because of bad movies about sharks and people not knowing how it actually is. Five years ago I became a diver, which changed everything and I fell in love with the ocean and it’s life. Ever since I want the same for other people, to learn to love the ocean and protect it. The diversity and life underwater is simply wonderful.”

– Ramona F

“Saving the ocean is our simple way of giving back and expressing gratitude for the many benefits we get from it. The ocean relentlessly provides us with so many ecosystem services, thus it’s our duty to protect it and tirelessly push for it’s conservation.”

– Camille de C

“The ocean is my office so keeping it clean and healthy is a huge part of the job!”

– Laura B

“Half the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean, and I absolutely love the underwater world. Also, because I care about sharks. I don’t only see them as apex predators but as beautiful creatures that are absolutely needed.”

– Monika K

“Protecting the ocean from plastic pollution in our country boosts tourism and promotes clean water and sanitation.”

– Ghana T

“A healthy ocean regulates climate and reduces the effects of climate change. Ocean currents distribute heat across the globe, absorbing over 90% of the heat and 30% of the C02 emissions produced by us. We have to fix the damage we have caused as best we can and save the extraordinary biodiversity below us!”

– Asia Galli

“Saving the ocean is important because it is the foundation of our future. Like Dr. Sylvia Earle said, “No Blue, No Green”. The way we treat the ocean has an impact on every single thing on this planet, from our food sources to ecosystems and global climate. I wouldn’t be breathing right now if the ocean didn’t exist. Saving the ocean is important to me because it is the greatest love of my life. It makes me happy when I’m sad, it gives me strength when I am exhausted. The ocean is my past, present and future. As long as I am living, I will dedicate my every bit of energy for the protection of our Big Blue.”

– Vivian T

“The ocean and the ecosystems it includes (coral reefs, seagrass meadows, mangroves) are important areas of biodiversity, income (tourism, food) and important for the protection of our coasts. Being able to take a breath underwater and see what it is about should change everyone to a spokesperson to save our oceans.”

– Christima E

“Many medicinal products come from the ocean, including ingredients that help fight cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease. The ocean produces over half of the world’s oxygen and absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere.”

– John R

“It’s not just it’s beauty and that there’s so much more to know, it’s not just wonder and curiosity, it’s not just joy, it’s life, and life is always worth protecting.”

– Esther L.F

“When I started diving last year it was so beautiful and mesmerizing. But also very sad seeing all the plastic and rubbish in the water. The ocean is alive and if it dies from our poor lifestyle we will be next.”

– Killian C

I want my children and their children to be able to see, feel and experience how amazing and beautiful the underwater world is. I don’t want it to be a story they get to hear.”

– Kevin R

Because it’s the world’s beating heart. Because it contains so much life. Because it’s my most beloved place for adventures. Because it’s magical. “

– Christina A

Stay up to date on ocean-saving campaigns, events and fins on conservation activities by joining the Torchbearer Community at padi.com/onebillion!

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