International Wildlife Adventures Supports Project AWARE in Reducing Marine Debris

International Wildlife Adventures, offering nature and photo tours since 1994, including dive trips to Belize, supports Project AWARE in its mission to gather data about marine debris and to clean up the world's oceans.

(PRWEB) September 05, 2013

International Wildlife Adventures, offering nature and photo tours since 1994, is supporting Project AWARE, a non-profit foundation whose mission is "Protecting our ocean planet, one dive at a time." International Wildlife Adventures offers dive trips to Belize, a small Central American country with an extensive barrier reef and excellent diving and snorkeling. The reef and beaches are marred and threatened by the well-known and growing problem of marine debris, notably plastics.

"You don't have to be a marine biologist to recognize that garbage in the ocean detracts from the diving experience," says IWA Director Randy Green. "It is also commonly understood that garbage in the ocean is not only unsightly, it directly harms marine animals and birds who ingest bits of plastic or get tangled in nets. Seabirds are especially vulnerable - birds ingest plastic such as disposable lighters thinking it's food. The long-term effects on humans who eat seafood that has consumed plastic is unknown, but it can't be good. What is less commonly known are recent findings by scientists who have been studying the minute bits of plastic floating on the various bodies of water around the world. These flotillas of tiny plastic particles are supporting colonies of microbes, including pathogens that are harmful to humans."

Dubbed the "plastisphere," this new artificially created habitat supports thousands of microorganisms, including bacteria, plants, and algae. The long-term effect of this disruption to the existing ecosystems of the oceans are unknown.
Project AWARE is tackling the problem of debris in the oceans with the help of its network of divers, who clean up underwater regions during organized dives and individually, and who collect data about the type of trash collected. This information is distributed to policy makers globally.

International Wildlife Adventures is supporting and promoting the work of Project AWARE through its charitable wildlife support program. Every newsletter subscriber who travels with IWA for the first time chooses an organization to support, and IWA makes a $50 donation in the traveler's name.