Marine Debris

Marine Debris

Reduce marine debris by 50% in targeted countries by 2030.



The Threat & Our Role

More than 250 million tons of plastic are estimated to make its way into our ocean by 2025.  The environmental damage caused by plastic debris alone is estimated at US$13 billion a year. Divers are often the first to witness human impact on the marine environment and are uniquely positioned to help report, remove and advocate to stop marine debris at its source. 



What We've Done

Through our flagship program, Dive Against Debris, we house and engage the largest underwater citizen science database and movement for marine debris on the planet. 

Dive Against Debris®

Torchbearers have removed over 2 million pieces of debris and aided over 10,000 entangled marine animals. Dive Against Debris (DAD) represents the largest underwater cleanup on the planet.

Dive Against Debris
Marine Debris Research

70,000+ divers created the largest underwater citizen science database on seafloor debris, filling a critical data gap. In 2020, we published this data in Science Direct, advancing critical marine research.

Data Sharing

We actively seek to share the Dive Against Debris Data with NGOs, governments and local communities. Please contact us if you are interested in data to help advance your work. We are all in this together. 



Our Strategy

Reduce marine debris by 50% in targeted countries by 2030. 

Key Actions  (1) Engage PADI Torchbearer Community in citizen science  (2) Support targeted countries through PADI AWARE Community Grant Program

Local Action
2021 In-Country Campaign

Marine debris campaigns will be implemented in key countries that promote conservation measures at the local and national level.

plastic free
Global Impact
2021 Global Advocacy

We are forming a global partnership to support a shared vision to rid the oceans of plastic. 



Our Key Sponsor

Seiko: Official Partner of PADI and PADI AWARE Foundation’s Marine Debris Program

As a proud sponsor of the marine debris program, Seiko will further the impact of the important work of the flagship citizen-science program, Dive Against Debris®, that not only removes debris but, perhaps more importantly, leverages findings to inform ocean-friendly policy change to prevent further pollution from entering the ocean. Together, Seiko, PADI, PADI AWARE Foundation and the global dive community will provide critical survey data that can be used by marine researchers and policymakers for conservation efforts. 

Tools & Resources

Dive Against Debris Resource Guide

Click here to access the Dive Against Debris Resource Guide.

Dive Against Debris Toolkit
Dive Against Debris Walkthrough
Become a Dive Against Debris Diver Take the Dive Against Debris® eLearning now! 

Community Story
Goal: Clean Seas Florida Keys

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, PADI Operators worked together with Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to clean up the local reefs. AWARE collaborated with the Marine Debris Working Group to develop Goal: Clean Seas Florida Keys, protocols to guide skilled divers in proper marine debris removal and reporting techniques.

Sarah Fangman, Sanctuary Superintendent explains, "This coordinated effort with our partners has directly addressed the threat of marine debris by removing it from sanctuary waters, and helped to identify marine debris hotspots for future cleanup efforts."