"Be the change you wish to see.”
That’s the challenge from two of the most influential forces in diving — PADI and Mission Blue — which are combining their powers to urge all who care about Earth’s oceans to live that commitment in more active and tangible ways.
PADI CEO Drew Richardson and “Her Deepness” Sylvia Earle, founder of global environmental coalition Mission Blue, which advocates for a network of marine-protected “Hope Spots,” unveiled their alliance last fall at the Dive Equipment and Marketing Association show in Las Vegas.
The goal is “to inspire people to use their powers — whatever they are — to do whatever it takes to protect the blue heart of the planet,” Earle says.
That action can take many forms, from letting others know “the value of fish beyond something to eat” to encouraging friends and family to learn to dive so they too “get to know the ocean’s creatures on their own terms,” Earle says. “Divers are the best ambassadors for the ocean; we see what others cannot.”
Earle pointed to the enormous changes that have taken place in all seas since PADI was founded in 1966. “Humans are changing the nature of nature,” she says.
“We want to make people think more deeply about what’s happening in the underwater space,” Richardson says, calling for a network of informed and engaged divers who work to influence others “locally, socially and politically.”
“We need the oceans, and now the oceans need us,” Earle says.