The PADI AWARE Foundation has partnered with Ocean Conservancy and Australia’s national science agency CISRO to research the role socioeconomics plays in the nature of debris on land and on the seafloor.
This first-of-its-kind research was published in September 2021 in the Global Environmental Change Journal.
The study examined data from 7,290 seafloor surveys conducted by PADI AWARE Foundation’s Dive Against Debris program, with 22,508 land-based surveys conducted by Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup of Beach Debris.
According to Dr. George Leonard, the Chief Scientist for the Ocean Conservancy:
“Our study makes a strong case that not only do beach and underwater clean-ups provide critical, complementary data about the extent of debris in the ocean, but that concerted action is needed on those items common to both habitats.”
While Dr. Denise Hardesty, Principal Research Scientist for CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, stated:
“The analysis and insights we’ve been able to learn from these global citizen science programs are a testimony to the value of engaging community and local actions and activities. Without such tremendous efforts from citizens around the world, we would not have such rich datasets or learnings.”
Ian Campbell, Policy Lead for the PADI AWARE Foundation, commented on the importance of the work, stating:
“The research demonstrates the critical need for global empirical debris data from both land and seafloor surveys. With the help of divers from 118 countries around the world who have contributed to our seafloor survey, we are able to understand more around the different factors that influence where and what type of debris are found both on land and on the seafloor.”
You can find out more here.