RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., April 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of Earth Day on April 22, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors®, PADI, is increasing awareness about the importance of conservation and restoration of ocean ecosystems through its eco-friendly initiatives. Throughout its long history, PADI® has demonstrated a commitment to be a force for good by helping protect and preserve the ocean planet. At its core, the organization's Pillars of Change℠ make up the framework for PADI's corporate ethos from its course offerings to collaborations and events, among many other efforts.
"We only have one ocean planet, and if we want to be engaged curators and speak for the seas, we have to do everything in our power to take care of it," said Drew Richardson, President and CEO at PADI Worldwide. "Diving is truly one of the most incredible and awe-inspiring activities you can partake in to appreciate the world around you. PADI is acutely aware that the ocean is threatened by a number of issues and is devoted to mitigating these challenges for this and future generations."
As the world's largest scuba diver training organization, PADI has created a vast network of divers and professionals with tremendous potential to make an impact on critical social and environmental issues. Every year, more than 1 million PADI certifications are issued globally, enabling more and more divers to experience the underwater world firsthand and understand the need to protect it. By participating in PADI courses of every level – from the Discover Scuba® Diving experience, Open Water Diver course, continuing education courses and professional-level courses – divers learn the importance of protecting our fragile aquatic ecosystems and are encouraged to become involved in local and global conservation efforts. PADI also offers specialty courses developed in conjunction with its longstanding partner Project AWARE® to educate divers on conservation issues, including Project AWARE Specialist, AWARE Shark Conservation, Coral Reef Conservation, and Dive Against Debris®, which aims to equip divers with the skills and knowledge to remove, record and report data on marine debris found on the seabed. Divers conducting Dive Against Debris surveys join an army of citizen scientists committed to making every dive a survey dive to contribute to Project AWARE's #NextMillion2020 goal.
In addition to its global course offerings, the following PADI initiatives celebrate its ongoing commitment to supporting the health of our planet:
- PADI Foundation—Supporting research and education related to marine environments, the PADI Foundation supports worthwhile projects that enrich our understanding of: aquatic environments and protection of ecosystems; our relationship and ability to survive in the underwater environment; hazards to humans and ecosystems related to climate change in coastal and ocean environments. This month, the PADI Foundation will award more than $330,000 US in grants to further these efforts.
- PADI Loves—Built on a foundation of social responsibility, PADI is reaffirming its dedication to protecting the planet by introducing PADI Loves™, a curated marketplace that solely features apparel and lifestyle accessories from companies committed to reducing global waste by producing sustainable, eco-conscious products; these companies include Glacial, fourth element, Gili Bags, Bureo, and Stream2Sea, among others. Partnering with a number of environmentally friendly printers and manufacturers, all PADI Gear purchases will be delivered via carbon-neutral shipping options such as UPS Carbon Neutral and DHL Go Green.
- Corporate Partnerships—PADI continues to cultivate relationships with like-minded partners, all aimed at inspiring action with a global network of ocean advocates. Together with Mission Blue, PADI has raised awareness about Hope Spots, or critically important environmental areas, to encourage divers to safeguard local marine populations. Additionally, PADI has integrated the Mission 2020 effort – a collection of pledges from diving-industry businesses with a primary focus on single-use plastic and short-term environmental changes, to be implemented before World Oceans Day 2020 – into its ideology. The company has also partnered with Reef-World to implement the Green Fins environmental code of conduct as the standard practice at PADI Dive Centers and Resorts.
- Global Celebrations and Events—On June 15 in Deerfield Beach, Florida, USA, divers will attempt to break the world record for the largest underwater cleanup. Sponsored by local dive centers, PADI and Project AWARE, over 700 divers are expected to take part in removing debris and litter to improve the local ecosystem. On July 20, PADI Women's Dive Day 2019 will invite divers from around the world to participate in the largest single day of organized diving. Growing year over year, PADI Women's Dive Day swelled to more than 1,000 events in 104 countries in 2018 with many taking on conservation and community-minded causes at their core, demonstrating that the positive influence of these events extends beyond gender. Additionally, AWARE Week 2019, September 14-22, will build bridges between community action and policy change by encouraging the dive community to submit Dive Against Debris surveys to paint an accurate picture of the marine debris issue.
About PADI – The Way the World Learns to Dive®
PADI® (Professional Association of Diving Instructors®) is the world's largest recreational diver training organization with more than 6,600 dive centers and resorts and 137,000 professional members worldwide. Celebrating industry leadership for over 50 years, PADI has remained dedicated to introducing new divers to the thrill of scuba diving and enhancing the skills of experienced divers. Issuing 1 million certifications each year, PADI makes underwater exploration, travel and adventure accessible to people around the world while maintaining the highest industry standards for dive training, safety and customer service. All PADI programs, from entry level through professional-level training, fall under strict educational standards monitored for worldwide consistency and quality. Throughout its deep history, PADI has displayed a longstanding commitment to environmental conservation through its course offerings and alignment with organizations, such as the Project AWARE® Foundation. PADI is committed to supporting social and environmental efforts through its Pillars of ChangeSM, empowering divers with information to get involved with causes they care about in a tangible way. For more information, visit www.padi.com.
Contact: Paige Thornley