Scuba Diving is such an amazing sport and with all the beaches around us in San Diego, there’s nothing stopping us. Well, nothing except a disrupted natural underwater environment. Unfortunately, not many of us actually know the negative environmental effects that we cause while scuba diving. Because of this, we’re here to tell you a few things you should be aware of the next time you’re in the water. Hopefully this will help all you scuba divers out there leave a positive impact, and maybe even spread the word to others! Keep reading to learn how to be an environmentally conscious scuba diver!
How can I be an Environmentally Conscious Scuba Diver?
Do Not Touch... Ever!
Touching the physical environment causes disruptions that are hard to recover from. This can cause long-term damage to the coral and marine life. EVEN if you are wearing gloves, it is important not to touch the reef. You should also be mindful when deciding to take souvenirs from your scuba trips. Even if the marine life is dead, it still harms the ecosystem.
Be Mindful of Your Sunscreen
What type of sunscreen you’re wearing is something that is often overlooked, or not even thought of. There is no doubt that sunscreen is important, but there are specific types that can be harmful to the ocean. The ingredient Oxybenzone is the common sunscreen ingredient that has been found to kill and bleach coral reefs. The next time you’re purchasing sunscreen, check the ingredients. Look for zinc oxide and titanium, as these are considered “safe” around coral reefs.
Watch Your Waste
Plastic bottles, cigarette butts, and candy wrappers are just a handful of waste that is dumped in the ocean. Even if you are not the one throwing them in the water, it is easy for them to blow in from somewhere else. To prevent this, keep your waste somewhere safe. That way it can't escape into the water!
Keep Your Distance From the Sea Turtles
In some states, there are actually laws that aim to protect sea turtles. Sea turtles are now protected by the Endangered Species Act, which means you could possibly be fined if you are seen or found to be touching them. To be sure, always ask your instructor which animals are okay to be near, and which to steer clear from.
Don’t Feed the Animals
Although you may think you’re doing the fish a favor by feeding them, this actually causes harm. When the fish are fed by humans, it causes an ecological imbalance. This means that the normal feeding habits are disrupted and the fish stray away from their typical feeding source. This causes the fish to stop eating algae growth from the coral reefs, which can take over and possibly kill the reef. The truth is that fish don’t need us for food, so let’s keep it that way.
Choose a Sustainable, Eco-Conscious Operator
Choosing which dive shop to help you on your scuba diving trip is more important than you may realize. If you want to be a sustainable tourist/diver, aim to choose dive centers that are focused on conserving the coral reefs. Dive centers that are eco-friendly do a great job at making sure to use operators that are committed to raising awareness for ocean conservation. So the next time you’re thinking about going scuba diving, research the nearby dive shops to make an environmentally conscious decision!
Making Sustainability the Standard for Scuba Divers
Now that you know a little bit about how you can be more environmentally conscious while scuba diving, it’s time to put it to action! On top of doing this, you can help our oceans even more by spreading the word to friends and family. Help us make eco-friendly decisions the standard, because our oceans deserve it!
Now that you have our scuba diving tips, you can prepare for the adventures! But no matter where you choose to dive, you will need to make sure you have a good pair of scuba goggles to help on your adventure! See our guide for what to look for in a pair of scuba goggles.
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