A Pacific Northwest diver earned international honors this year for her work introducing kids to the chilly world of Seattle diving and a passion for the environment around her.
The Professional Association for Diving Instructors (PADI) celebrated Edmonds-based Annie Crawley and her teen dive team with the 2020 PADI AmbassaDiver award. Crawley will share updates on her youth and film projects throughout the year.
“When it came to having an opportunity to teach kids and teens in our community, there were a lot of people who came to the plate to help me out,” Crawley said. “Manufactures designed equipment to fit kids who are just 10 years old. We cut special suits for them so that we could train them here. It’s this combination of being able to train them as divers and watch them grow into ocean protectors that brings me so much joy.”
Crawley spends her time diving, shooting video and trying to make films to bring awareness to life under the ocean. She’s now teaching this passion to a younger generation, taking kids from as young as 10 years old into the 48-degree water of Puget Sound.
“There’s nothing like exploring the underwater world. I learned to dive right after college and it changed my life forever,” Crawley said.
Crawley’s home dive spot is around the Edmonds Underwater Park, but diving has taken her all over the world. She even wrote a book illustrating the plastic problem, a passion she’s passed on to her team of youth divers.
“In Puget Sound, there are a lot of studies being done about microplastics. Studies are showing that we are ingesting microplastic which is terrible. It’s important that we understand the impact that everything we do on land affects our ocean,” Crawley said. “Our ocean is our life source."