Sylvia Earle and Drew Richardson Encourage Dive Community to Be a Force for Good
Orlando, Florida – 3 November 2017 – Dr. Drew Richardson, PADI® Worldwide President and CEO, and Dr. Sylvia Earle, legendary oceanographer and President and Chairman of Mission Blue™, joined together at DEMA Show 2017 to discuss the critical role divers play in ocean conservation.
“Change comes when people care, and there are no better messengers to communicate the beauty and fragility of the ocean than divers who have a direct, emotional connection to the ocean,” says Earle.
Recognizing that the dive community has tremendous influence on the ocean conservation movement, PADI and Mission Blue formalized a partnership in June 2017. The partnership’s focus is to ignite support for marine areas in a network of locations targeted for enhanced protection. Together, PADI and Mission Blue aim to empower all divers to make a tangible impact during and after their dives by collecting and broadcasting their observations, scientific and otherwise, as well as connect them to local conservation efforts and best practices.
“We don’t get to live in an ideal world, we live in this one,” says Richardson. “Training one million new divers each year across the planet, PADI has the reach and influence to mobilize divers to be citizen activists. The diving community can be a powerful change agent that can engage in strategic alliances, have a strong voice and get involved in real solutions to mitigate the problems that threaten our ocean planet.”
Throughout its history, PADI has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to environmental conservation through its course offerings and alignment with organizations such as the Project AWARE® Foundation, to protect and preserve the planet. At last year’s DEMA Show, PADI announced its Pillars of Change social and environmental responsibility initiative. Devised to elevate the PADI mission to be best in and for the world, the Pillars help connect the PADI community to ocean causes they care about. The Pillars of Change focus on building awareness of important issues affecting ocean health, strengthening dive communities and forming global alliances that will engage and mobilize PADI Dive Centers, Resorts, dive professionals and divers to be a force for good.
To learn more about how you can get involved, visit padi.com/forceforgood or take part in PADI’s Pillars of Change Miniseminar at the 2017 DEMA Show. This free seminar will be held Friday, 3 November from 3:00 – 4:00 pm in room S220AB at the Orange County Convention Center.
PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors®) is the world's largest recreational diver training organization with more than 133,000 PADI Professionals and 6,400 PADI Dive Centers and Resorts worldwide. PADI issues nearly one million certifications each year, making underwater exploration and adventure accessible to people around the world. In doing so, PADI has created a growing number of ocean ambassadors to help defend and preserve the marine environment, and will continue to bring the conversation to the forefront to inspire action.
About Mission Blue™
Led by legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue is uniting a global coalition to inspire an upwelling of public awareness, access and support for a worldwide network of marine protected areas – Hope Spots. Under Dr. Earle’s leadership, the Mission Blue team implements communications campaigns that elevates Hope Spots to the world stage through documentaries, social media, traditional media and innovative tools like Google Earth. Mission Blue also embarks on regular oceanic expeditions that shed light on these vital ecosystems and build support for their protection. Currently, the Mission Blue alliance includes more than 180 respected ocean conservation groups and like-minded organizations, from large multinational companies to individual scientific teams doing important research. Additionally, Mission Blue supports the work of conservation NGOs around the world that share the mission of building public support for ocean protection. With the concerted effort and passion of people and organizations around the world, Hope Spots can become a reality and form a global network of marine protected areas large enough to restore the ocean, the blue heart of the planet.