For decades the sheer volume of trash that enters our oceans has grown exponentially. This trash poses threats to marine life as they can become entangled in marine debris or even mistake it as food. The build up of debris can also directly harm divers and swimmers through exposure to toxins or direct contact with harmful items. In a past post I have discussed ocean plastics and their impact and these plastics play a huge role in the marine debris increase. It is predicted that within the next 10 years, plastic in the ocean will reach 250 million tons and cause 10’s of billions of dollars in environmental damage yearly.
Project AWARE is an amazing organization made up of divers and scientists whose mission is to combat the global issue of marine debris. They are composed of a network of divers, whom are stationed in all countries around the world, whose mission is to dive in the surrounding oceans and collect trash to properly dispose of it. Others operate on land to prevent the dumping of trash at the source. Project AWARE works with locals, NGOs, governments and businesses to collectively raise awareness and help to mitigate marine debris. The best part about Project AWARE? They make it super easy to sign-up and get involved in whatever way you can! They also produce annual reports that help to show the impact the organization is making on marine debris on a global scale. With this information accessible to all, not just members, this race against ourselves seems more like fulfilling and obtainable victories versus a pipe dream for hippies. I have followed the organization on Instagram for years and can’t wait to get involved this year!
Follow the teams Instagram page: @projectaware
Check out projectaware.org for all the details!
Below is a snapshot of my favorite page in the 2016 Annual Report: