Divers, snorkelers, and other recreational users can harm coral reef ecosystems if they behave carelessly and do not show respect for marine life. Hundreds of thousands of people visit Hawaiian reefs every year, so small individual actions can add up to have a significant effect.
I pledge to minimize my impact to the sensitive coral ecosystem by following these rules for responsible marine recreation:
1. Never touch, stand on, or kick the coral reef or live coral.
2. Carefully select points of entry and exit to avoid damaging reefs.
3. Secure all dangling equipment/accessories.
4. Maintain neutral buoyancy at all times (divers).
5. Maintain a comfortable distance from the bottom so that you do not kick up sediments or come into contact with the reef while SCUBA diving or free diving.
6. Never feed fish or throw food or rubbish into the water.
7. Never chase, move, or manipulate marine life or habitat.
8. Move slowly and deliberately in the water.
9. If you are new to Hawaiian waters, go with a guide the first time you visit a reef. At a minimum, seek local knowledge to orient yourself to local waterways, ocean conditions, marine life, and local guidelines and regulations.
10. Dive, snorkel, kayak, or surf with a shop that is part of the West Hawaii Voluntary Standards!