The pinnacle cleanup event of the year, International Cleanup Day, 25 September, is held in partnership with the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup. On this day 15,000 AWARE Divers in more than 100 countries around the globe will document every item found beneath the water's surface to help prevent the marine debris epidemic affecting our ocean planet.
Make a Stand
Combating marine debris can be as simple as volunteering at your local cleanup event (http://www.projectaware.org/search/cleanup_events.php) or even becoming a cleanup organizer (http://www.projectaware.org/forms/cleanup.php). Become familiar with the marine debris facts, lead by example and encourage your friends to make a difference too.
At least 6 million tones of debris enter the world's oceans each year, harming wildlife and underwater environments. The scuba diving community is influencing change by using their unique skills to remove underwater debris and gathering data to inform conservation.
Project AWARE Foundation tackles the devastating impacts of marine debris by supporting divers and volunteers in year round underwater and shoreline cleanups. In 2009, AWARE divers worldwide took the plunge and collected 555,000 lbs of debris that would have continued to be out of sight and mind for most.
Combat Marine Debris. What You Can Do:
Remove debris you see during every recreational dive or shoreline visit.
The number one item found in cleanups is cigarette filters. Always dispose of them properly and never overboard.
Reduce, reuse and recycle.
Avoid buying plastic products.
Be aware of everything you buy and avoid excessive packaging.
Demand improved and increased number of recycling facilities for your area.
Properly dispose of all pieces of fishing line, net or other associated litter.
Keep plastics and rubbish off the ground and the ocean floor.
Keep storm drains and shorelines free of rubbish.
Get involved inunderwater and shoreline cleanupswith Project AWARE year-round or during September's International Cleanup Day events.