As Divers, What Can We
Divers, more than any other group, are
acutely aware of the importance of environmental
issues. And we should be concerned about
the health of the marine ecosystem that
we all cherish. But just being concerned
is not enough. We should all be aware
of the specific problems affecting the
underwater environment and ask what
we can do to help.
There are literally hundreds of organizations
involved in trying to help assure that
our underwater world can be enjoyed
by future generations. And each plays
an important role. If you have a specific
issue or area of concern, you can find
an organization to become involved with.
Most environmental organizations are
non-profit and rely on contributions
from companies and the general public.
There are also many projects that we
can take an active role in, whether
counting fish, studying and reporting
on reef conditions, promoting petitions
for change or through financial support.
It is just important that we act.
The list here are organizations concerned
with the well being of our diving environments.
Many welcome not only financial help,
but volunteers as well. Visit their
websites and review their projects and
goals. Our underwater world is in need,
lend a hand.
Center for Marine Conservation
Membership organization whose goals
include improving the quality of the
marine environment and ensuring the
health and survival of whales, dolphins,
seals, and all marine wildlife for generations
Reef Alliance (CORAL)
The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is a
member-supported, non-profit organization,
dedicated to keeping coral reefs alive
around the world.
Marine Sanctuaries Program
Provides information about our nation's
marine sanctuaries -- their history
and current management and their scientific
and educational programs. Discover a
vast range of marine creatures, habitats,
historical artifacts, and flourishing
Ocean Futures is a non-profit organization
resulting from a merger of the Jean-Michel-Cousteau
Institute and the Free Willy Keiko Foundation.
Their mission is to provide the global
community with a forum for exploring
issues affecting the ocean, its inhabitants,
and its habitats. Ocean Futures reaches
out to people throughout the world,
helping them to understand our global
water system, take personal responsibility
for the restoration and preservation
of precious marine habitats, and mobilizing
them to protect the ocean and its inhabitants.
Membership organization exclusively
dedicated to the protection of coral
their marine life. ReefKeeper carries
out its coral reef protection mission
under a Florida Coral Reefs Initiative,
U.S. Caribbean Coral Reefs Initiative
(Puerto Rico & U.S. Virgin Islands),
MesoAmerica Coral Reefs Initiative (Mexico,
Belize & Honduras), and Netherlands
Antilles Coral Reef Initiative (Caraway,
Bonaire, Saba & St. Maarten). Each
Initiative covers 6 Campaigns targeting
Offshore Oil, Marine Pollution, Reef
Fish Depletion, Marine Park Creation,
Physical Impacts, and Coastal Development.
Environmental Education Foundation (REEF)
REEF was founded in 1990, out of growing
concern about the health of the marine
environment, and the desire to provide
the SCUBA diving community a way to
contribute to the understanding and
protection of marine populations. REEF
achieves this goal primarily through
its volunteer fish monitoring program,
the REEF Fish Survey Project. Participants
in the Project not only learn about
the environment they are diving in,
but they also produce valuable information.
Scientists, marine park staff, and the
general public use the data that are
collected by REEF volunteers.
The Reef-World Foundation
Charitable organisation offering Coral
Reef ecology courses for divers of all
levels. Fees are used to fund local
communtiy based coral reef education
The Cousteau Society is a membership-supported,
not-for-profit organization dedicated
to the protection and improvement of
the quality of life for present and
future generations. More than forty
books and 120 television films to date
have documented farflung habitats: Antarctica,
Haiti, Cuba, the Marquesas Islands and
the Tuamotu Archipelago, New Zealand,
Australia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand,
the Andaman Islands, Borneo, Indonesia,
Madagascar, South Africa, Lake Baikal
and the Amazon, Mekong, Danube and Yellow
rivers among others. Recent expeditions
include the Caspian Sea and the St.
Lawrence River of Canada.
Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy
has been working with communities, businesses
and people to protect more than 92 million
acres around the world. The mission
is to preserve the plants, animals and
natural communities that represent the
diversity of life on Earth by protecting
the lands and waters they need to survive.
Shark and Oceanic Research Center
The Whale Shark Oceanic and Research
Center is committed to the preservation
of the coral reefs and surrounding waters
A devoted staff of professional scientists,
biologists and volunteers work tirelessly
on maintaining and restoring a marine
ecosystem that is one of Central Americas
Not only do we operate one of only a
few year-round whale shark monitoring
and research stations in the world,
our facility houses a comprehensive
reef fish and coral research division.
Together our mission is to educate the
ecotourist and local alike while contributing
cutting edge research to the scientific
community and humanity for years to
We have an extensive range of PADI accredited
and Distinctive classes exclusive to
WSORC. Give us one day or 3 weeks and
we guarantee an unparrallelled learing
Divers, What Can We Do?
Learn more about reefs and other
marine life. Your dives will be all
the more enjoyable.
Help keep the reef clean. Always
take your own litter away, and also
pick up other trash from the beach or
Get Involved with organizations
and groups that are involved in the
protection and conservation of coral
reefs and other marine life. You can
actively participate in projects or
give financial support with a donation.
Take care of the reefs, not just
for yourself, but so your children too
will be able to enjoy them.
Don't touch corals, rest on them
or kick them. Corals are living animals
and are easily damaged even by gentle
handling. Don't wear gloves, so you
can feel what you are touching.
Avoid kicking up the sand. It spoils
the visibility for you and other visitors
and damages corals and other reef organisms
when it settles.
Observe Collecting and Spearfishing
Laws Many reefs are already badly
depleted of medium to large size fishes.
If laws are in effect for an area, it
is because numbers are threatened.
Leave all corals and reef animals where
they are. Corals are the "building
blocks" of the reef and grow slowly.
Even small pieces are many years old.
Lobsters and shells have become rare
because too many people are taking them.
Don't kill sea urchins to feed the fishes.
Sea urchins too have become scarce,
due to a disease, and are only just
beginning to recover.
Divers, make sure you are properly weighted.
Sign up in a buoyancy control course
and keep practicing what you have learned.
Always be aware of the fragility of
the coral reef.
Boat owners, never anchor on corals,
they are easily broken or damaged by
anchors and you may break off corals
that are hundreds of years old. Tie
up to a mooring buoy or anchor carefully
in sand or rubble patches.
Take only pictures, leave only bubbles.---
Association of Dive Rescue Specialists
The International Association of Dive
Rescue Specialists (IADRS) is a non-profit
organization supporting public safety
divers affiliated with law enforcement
and fire rescue or SAR dive teams conducting
search, rescue or underwater SCUBA recovery.
Thousands of Public Safety Divers affiliated
with law enforcement, fire
rescue, EMS or SAR SCUBA teams who conduct
rescue or recovery operations are IADRS
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