As an environmentally aware group, the URG aims to support marine conservation through volunteering for environmental programs, developing submissions to appropriate Government organisations regarding environmental issues and promoting environmentally responsible diving practices amongst divers.
We encourage low-impact diving practices including minimising contact with the benthos / substrate, no unnecessary contact with marine biota (except where we are gathering or studying marine organisms for research purposes), no feeding of marine organisms, careful securing of diving equipment, good buoyancy control, minimal disturbance finning techniques and safe anchoring practices.
URG has been active in marine conservation work since its inception in 1956. In the early days, we worked closely with the Australian Museum and other scientific bodies to gather, report and analyse marine life in the Sydney area.
In the ’90s we road-tested the Protected Species Survey for The NSW Department of Fisheries. Other programs since then have included gathering data for the North Harbour Aquatic Reserve, Crayweed Regeneration project and Grey Nurse Shark program..
MARINE DEBRIS SURVEYS
We participate with Clean-up Australia Day in March each year, and have worked regularly with The Australian Marine Conservation Society, Sydney Aquatic Cleaners Klub (SACK) and NSW Waterways Authority, to clean up a number of Sydney Harbour beaches.
We typically spend Clean Up Australia Day on a middle harbour beach such as Clifton Gardens or Balmoral. We also conduct a monthly marine debris survey with PADI Project Aware Adopt A Dive Site program and gather beach debris information for the Tangaroa Blue program.