Around the globe, scuba diving enables people to experience the wonder of the underwater world that covers over 70 percent of the earth’s surface. Today, in celebration of World Oceans Day, PADI® (Professional Association of Diving Instructors®) provides opportunities to help people everywhere connect with the ocean and support efforts to preserve and restore it, in whatever capacity possible during these times.
“We care deeply about the health and safety of divers, dive businesses and the ocean, and we will continue supporting this worldwide community by encouraging safe and meaningful opportunities for today,” says Drew Richardson, President, and CEO of PADI Worldwide. “World Oceans Day serves as a reminder for us all to pause and connect with our blue planet wherever we may be.”
Even while diving remains less accessible in many parts of the globe due to pandemic-related limitations, there are many ways that people can still explore and protect the ocean – from home, in their communities, and below the surface of their local waters.
PADI brings education, experience, and exploration to current and future divers alike. They encourage people around the world to safely seek adventure and save the ocean, from any location. Plus, with a mission to create one billion torchbearers to protect the ocean, both above and below the surface, the organization shares several ways new and experienced divers alike can pursue their passion and fuel appreciation for the ocean:
- Learn to Dive From Home – Those who have never experienced this awe-inspiring sport may begin the process of learning to dive now with PADI eLearning®. From the comfort and safety of home, anyone 10 years and older can take the first step toward certification and learn the basic skills of scuba diving via virtual courses. You’ll be ready to dive in and complete your certification with a PADI Dive Center or Resort as soon as you can. “By learning to dive and exploring local waters, you gain a unique vantage point, able to personally witness the impacts we as a human race have on ocean environments, both the good and the bad. With this perspective comes the responsibility – and desire – to be an advocate for the ocean and the life within,” says Richardson.
- Dive Locally – While the ability to travel may be limited, this is no reason to stop you from discovering new places or connecting with nature. Wherever you live, there are waters nearby waiting to be explored – local shores, lakes, and quarries shouldn’t be underestimated. As regions around the globe begin to reopen, PADI offers a new interactive map to identify in real-time where diving is accessible. Your local PADI Dive Center will provide further information on current guidelines, any potential restrictions and special safety precautions they’re taking during these times, and how you can get involved in local conservation efforts.
- Shop Ocean-First Products – PADI Gearä offers eco-minded and sustainable products water enthusiasts need and love. To date, PADI Gear products made from recycled ocean plastics have collectively resulted in the removal and reuse of more than 54,779 pounds of ocean plastic.
- Citizen Science Dive Opportunities – PADI’s global network of dive centers, resorts, and partners in conservation offer ample opportunities to dive for a deeper purpose, from coral restoration efforts to fighting plastic pollution. PADI’s conservation-focused courses are designed to foster a sustainability mindset and drive action to protect ocean health. In collaboration with Project AWARE®, divers learn how to properly survey and remove marine debris through the Dive Against Debris® Specialty To date, PADI divers have removed over 1.6 million trash items from the ocean – data that is now being used by scientific institutions, arming researchers and policymakers with information to drive lasting solutions. The Coral Reef Conservation Specialty, Project AWARE Specialty, and AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty courses also provide participants with information to make a difference for ocean protection. Many PADI Dive Centers and Resorts are currently offering virtual courses and workshops during this time.
“COVID-19 will be behind us in the near future, but restoring the balance between humanity and the seas is a long-term lift addressing a far bigger, far more enduring threat,” adds Richardson. “But even amid the pandemic, you and I can be making a difference.”
Start your underwater adventure by visiting PADI today.