The Dive Club Message Board › Three Organizations, One Goal- Preserve the World's Ocean
“One pioneering dive center, one global certification agency and one sustainable tourism developer join forces to implement standards that protect the marine environment.”
Boulder, CO – Ocean First Divers (OFD), Scuba Schools International (SSI) and Sustainable Travel International (STI) support a commitment to preserve the world’s oceans. One pioneering dive center and two global organizations join forces to design and implement a new eco-certification standard specific to the diving industry, promoting businesses that protect the marine environment.
Graham Casden, founder of Ocean First Divers (OFD), has been working in earnest for the last five years to shift the paradigm in the dive industry and establish a new precedent for accountability and preservation. OFD has long been an advocate for ocean ecosystems by stressing marine science education, ocean conservation and sustainable tourism. In just a few short years, Ocean First Divers has emerged at the forefront of the environmental movement within the dive industry and is a pioneer of “innovative environmental programs.” Among OFD’s most noteworthy developments are a wetsuit reclamation program and carbon calculator for liveaboards, which for the first time assesses the footprint of these highly desired dive vacations. Additionally, Ocean First Divers has invested over $200,000 in renewable energy retrofits that include solar PV and thermal, high-efficiency boilers, variable speed pool pumps and a heat exchanger. Through these efforts and more, Mr. Casden is helping pave the way for a sustainable industry for years to come.
Having been an environmental advocate for years, Mr. Casden knew he would need the support of reputable global organizations to bring both the mechanisms and industry credibility to the standard. After years of research and program development, Mr. Casden reached a partnership with Scuba Schools International (SSI) and Sustainable Travel International (STI) to provide the support systems, expertise and recognition needed to create a certification standard for the dive industry. SSI is a world leader in dive education, and coupled with STI’s highly acclaimed eco-certification programs that are aligned with the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC), ensures the new standard has the merit and credibility to usher in a new generation of environmentally conscious dive operators.
“As my passion grew for scuba diving and exploring the magic of our ocean, I quickly realized that the dive industry needed to thoroughly reevaluate the way it approached transforming customers into impassioned stewards for the very resource that we, as an industry, depend on for our livelihood. There has been a disregard for this fragile ocean ecosystem and developing personal accountability for it. Now more than ever before, we must shift the paradigm and create a sustainable model that will ensure both the ocean’s and industry’s longevity,” stated Graham Casden, Owner of Ocean First Divers.