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GUE Offsets Shipping Activity to Help to Reverse the Trend of Destruction of Ocean Environments Around the World

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Divers represent a small portion of the population that get to see the underwater world first hand, yet they often contribute to its decline. To help offset some of the environmental damage from shipping their own merchandise, the non-profit scuba diving organization, Global Underwater Explorers (GUE), has donated to the conservation and restoration of seagrass meadows, mangroves and salt marshes through The Ocean Foundation’s SeaGrass Grow Program.

According to a European Parliament study, 40% of global CO2 emissions will be caused by aviation and shipping by 2050. Therefore, in order to lessen GUE’s contribution to the problem, they are donating to planting these vast underwater meadows which have proven to absorb carbon more effectively than rainforests. 

“Supporting the planting and protection of seagrass by The Ocean Foundation is a step in the right direction towards minimizing or balancing the effects our training, exploration and diving has on the places we love to visit,” said Amanda White, GUE’s Marketing Director who is leading the organization’s push towards being carbon neutral. “This is in addition to our own projects which our divers get involved in locally, so it feels like a natural addition to our new conservation initiatives as seagrass directly contributes to the health of the environment we love.”

Also, part of the new Conservation Pledge by GUE, is for its members to encourage their community of divers to offset their dive travel through the SeaGrass Grow calculator on The Ocean Foundation’s website. Dive travel is the number one contribution divers make to global warming and the destruction of underwater ecosystems. Divers are often either flying to warmer waters to spend a week on a boat at sea doing what they love, or they are driving long distances to get to dive sites for training or fun. 

GUE is focused on conservation and exploration, and yet travel is an unavoidable part of that mission, we can’t avoid it. But we can offset our effect on the environment through supporting rehabilitation projects that reduce CO2 emissions and improve the underwater ecosystem. 

“Maintaining a healthy ocean is paramount to ensuring a sustainable future for coastal tourism,” said Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation. “By helping the dive community give back to conserve the places they love for recreation, this partnership creates an opportunity to engage with the GUE membership on how investing in nature-based solutions, such as seagrass meadows and mangrove forests, can help tackle climate change, build resilience in local communities and maintain healthy ecosystems for divers to visit on future dive trips.”
 



ABOUT GLOBAL UNDERWATER EXPLORERS 
Global Underwater Explorers, a US 501(c)(3), began with a group of divers whose love of underwater exploration grew naturally into a desire to protect those environments. In 1998, they created a unique organization dedicated to high-quality diver education with the goal of supporting aquatic research that advances conservation and safely expands exploration of the underwater world. 

ABOUT THE OCEAN FOUNDATION
As the only community foundation for the ocean, The Ocean Foundation’s 501(c)(3) mission is to support, strengthen, and promote those organizations dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world. We focus our collective expertise on emerging threats in order to generate cutting edge solutions and better strategies for implementation.

Art

Rock & Water

Sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor evokes the sacred, populating underwater seascapes with corporeal objets d’art, meant to be assimilated by the sea.

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Text, photography and art courtesy of Jason deCaires Taylor.

Crossing the Rubicon, Museo Atlántico, Lanzarote, Spain, Atlantic Ocean

“Museums are places of conservation, education, and about protecting something sacred. We need to assign those same values to our oceans.”

Nexus, Oslo Fjord, Norway
Museo Subacuático de Arte, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico
Museo Subacuático de Arte, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico

As soon as we sink them, they belong to the sea.

The Rising Tide, River Thames, Vauxhall, London

“The Rising Tide was located within sight of the Houses of Parliament. The politician on a petroleum horse was an obvious metaphor for how fossil fuel companies are embedded into our politician system. I think we really have to start holding people accountable for what they are doing. And that needs to be documented in stone rather than in a few words in a newspaper column that disappears. There are a lot of people whose actions need to be immortalised.”

The Raft of Lampedusa, Museo Atlántico, Lanzarote, Spain, Atlantic Ocean
Museo Subacuático de Arte, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico
Nexus, Oslo Fjord, Norway
The Coral Greenhouse, John Brewer Reef, Australia, Pacific Ocean
The Silent Evolution, Museo Subacuático de Arte, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico

“It is named a museum for a simple reason. Every day we dredge, pollute and overfish our oceans, while museums are places of preservation, of conservation, and of education. They are places where we keep objects that have great value to us. Our oceans are sacred.”

Check out www.underwatersculpture.com for a lot more amazing work!


Jason deCaires Taylor MRSS is an award winning sculptor, environmentalist and professional underwater photographer. For the past 16 years, Taylor has been creating underwater museums and sculpture parks beneath the waves, submerging over 1,100 living artworks throughout the world’s oceans and seas. Themes explored by these artistic installations include, among others, the climate emergency, environmental activism, and the regenerative attributes of nature. The sculptures create a habitat for marine life whilst illustrating humanity’s fragility and its relationship with the marine world. Taylor’s subjects mainly feature members of the local community, focussing on their connections with their own coastal environments.

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