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



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.”

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. 

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.


Anniversary Event of the Healthy Seas Foundation Celebrates a Decade of Marine Protection and Industry-Wide Partnerships




Healthy Seas

September 20, 2023

Croatia and Slovenia — The Healthy Seas Foundation, a pioneering organization dedicated to marine conservation and education, commemorated its 10-year anniversary with a remarkable three-day event held from September 4th to 6th, 2023. The event brought together a diverse array of partners, collaborators, journalists, and environmental enthusiasts who have collectively contributed to the foundation’s journey towards cleaner seas.

A Decade of Transformation

The anniversary event was a testament to the remarkable achievements of the Healthy Seas Foundation over the past decade. Participants gathered from across the globe to reflect on the foundation’s impactful initiatives, discuss future strategies, and reinforce current partnerships. The event underscored the deep interlinkage between marine conservation and diverse industries, illustrating the power of collaboration in fostering positive change.

Empowering Presentations and Collaborative Networking

Day 1 featured insightful presentations that delved into the history and future aspirations of the Healthy Seas Foundation. Attendees engaged in discussions that underscored the importance of sustainable practices promoting circularity across various industries. The day concluded with a celebratory dinner, providing a platform for networking and idea exchange among partners and collaborators.

Nurturing Tomorrow’s Advocates

Day 2 saw the foundation’s commitment to education and community engagement in action. Collaborating with local school children, the event fostered environmental awareness through interactive activities. An inspiring photo exhibition and a captivating virtual reality experience transported participants into the heart of marine ecosystems, emphasizing the significance of cleaning and safeguarding these vital ecosystems for future generations.

The day also featured a presentation and joint artwork session with Bracenet, a valued partner of the Healthy Seas Foundation. Bracenet showcased the diverse applications of the nets recovered by Healthy Seas, highlighting their transformation from abandoned ghost nets to purposeful creations.

The afternoon of Day 2 witnessed a ghost net retrieval mission led by Ghost Divers from around the world. These volunteer divers demonstrated their dedication to ocean cleanup by removing abandoned fishing nets, a significant threat to marine life, from the seas.

Embracing Circularity: Aquafil’s Sustainable Innovation

Day 3 showcased the Healthy Seas Foundation’s vital partnership with Aquafil. Participants witnessed the collaborative efforts to give discarded nets and nylon waste new life, an embodiment of environmental stewardship and innovation. Through this partnership, some of the fishing nets recovered by Healthy Seas are mixed together with other nylon waste and transformed into ECONYL® regenerated nylon, advancing circular economy across industries.

Celebrating a Decade of Growth

Over the last 10 years, the Healthy Seas Foundation has experienced substantial growth, expanding from 3 partners in 2013 to a network of 150 partners today. The initiative has progressed from 20 activities to an impressive 228, with volunteers increasing from 15 to a formidable force of 350. What initially began in 3 countries has now extended its impactful operations to 20 countries.

Looking Ahead

As the Healthy Seas Foundation envisions the future, the anniversary event serves as a reminder of the remarkable progress of the past decade and the potential for even greater impact in the years to come.

For media inquiries, interviews, or additional information, please contact:

Samara Croci, Communications Manager, Healthy Seas Foundation +39 3314436962

About Healthy Seas Foundation:

Healthy Seas is an international non-profit organisation whose mission is to remove waste from the seas, in particular fishing nets, for the purpose of creating healthier seas and recycling marine litter into textile products. The recovered fishing nets will be transformed and regenerated by Aquafil, together with other nylon waste, into ECONYL® yarn, a high-quality raw material used to create new products, such as socks, swimwear, sportswear, or carpets. Since its founding in 2013, Healthy Seas has collected over 905 tons of fishing nets and other marine litter with the help of volunteer divers and fishers.

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