AWARE WEEK is 15 – 23 September

Celebrate the Ocean with
Project AWARE and PADI


Celebrate the Ocean with
Project AWARE + PADI

15 – 23 SEPTEMBER 2018


AWARE Week marks the perfect time to focus on the ocean whether it’s through learning, inspiring or acting. With an emphasis on guided conservation, PADI-endorsed specialties such as the newly revised Project AWARE Specialty, Dive Against Debris®, and AWARE Shark Conservation Diver Specialty courses will help divers across the world discover how they can help protect the ocean right in their own backyard.

Whether it’s becoming a debris activist, saying no to single-use plastics or making responsible seafood choices, no action is too small to enforce positive benefits.

Find a Dive Shop >

Project AWARE SpecialtyAWARE Shark Conservation specialtyDive Against Debris Specialty

Make Every Dive Count

During AWARE Week, PADI is encouraging divers all around the globe to engage in a Project AWARE course and in AWARE Week events. These conservation-focused courses are designed to foster a sustainability mindset in every diver, helping to increase the number of ocean stewards around the globe.

Project AWARE Specialty

This revised Project AWARE Specialty course, available in September, is an introduction to how to be a conservation-minded diver. It focuses and expands on the 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet. Through interactive discussions, you’ll learn how you can make a difference for ocean protection every time you dive or travel. A dry, "fins off" course, this specialty is ideal for divers and nondivers alike to gain insight into how decisions above and below the surface impact our water planet.

AWARE Week: Project AWARE Specialty

Love sharks? Scared of sharks? Or do you just want to know more about them? Enroll in an AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty course and discover the value of sharks to marine ecosystems and economies. You’ll learn more about the causes of declining shark populations and the actions you can take to become a knowledgeable and passionate shark defender. By being informed, you can dispel misconceptions and act to protect sharks. Sharks need you!

Dive Against Debris Specialty

Do you want to make a difference on every dive but are not sure where to begin? Gain the knowledge and skills to activate your inner citizen scientist by taking the Dive Against Debris® Specialty. You’ll learn to complete Dive Against Debris surveys under the guidance of a PADI Professional and help keep your local dive sites healthier by removing trash.

About Project AWARE

Tackle Marine Debris

Project AWARE works to reduce underwater impacts of marine debris and prevent trash from entering the ocean in the first place. The flagship citizen-science program, Dive Against Debris®, is the first and only marine debris survey of its kind, and is focused on scuba divers reporting types and quantities of debris found on the ocean floor.

Learn More

Protect Sharks and Rays

Project AWARE works with various partners to use the power of international conservation agreements and management regulations for change. Project AWARE advocates for the full protection of shark species listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered by the IUCN, and for the establishment of precautionary shark fishing limits and regulations to ensure all sharks are landed with their fins attached.

Learn More

Join the Movement

For over 25 years, together with their partners and the global community, Project AWARE has responded to the threats our ocean faces. Today, Project AWARE is a global movement for ocean protection powered by a community of adventurers, connecting the passion for ocean adventure with the purpose of marine conservation to create lasting change. Be part of the movement!

Learn More

AWARE Week - Love the Ocean?

Love the ocean? Get the replacement card that protects it.

Whether you’re just starting your ocean adventures or you’ve been diving for years, you can show your support for ocean protection with a limited edition PADI certification card that supports Project AWARE. Ocean protection requires “all hands on deck.” Invest in our ocean’s future by supporting Project AWARE with your scuba certification.

Ask your PADI Instructor for more information or replace your card online.

AWARE Week - Meet Richard Swann

Meet: Richard Swann

Richard Swann learned to scuba in the cold waters of the UK in the late ‘90s. In 2001 he moved to Malaysia with his wife to set up their own business, Dive Downbelow. The Kota Kinabalu-based dive center has a strong focus on awareness, education and science-led surveys, attracting university students from all around the world. A PADI Platinum Course Director, Richard regularly leads the university field trips, teaching students to conduct marine surveys. Richard was the first PADI Member to qualify as an Instructor and Instructor Trainer for the AWARE Shark Conservation Diver Specialty when the course launched in 2011. His determination to make a difference inspires all whom he teaches.

I’ve always loved outdoor sports, but never really felt like I had found one that was totally ‘me’. It wasn’t until I tried diving that I knew I had found my calling. I had never experienced anything like that first breath underwater! PADI opened up a whole new world for me that I would never have had a chance to experience otherwise, and for that I am truly grateful.

Richard Swann, PADI Platinum Course Director

AWARE Week - Katerina Topouzoglou

Meet: Katerina Topouzoglou

Katerina became a PADI scuba diver in 1998 and has been a supporter of Project AWARE since its international expansion, which happened around the same time. Growing up in Greece, she's always had a love for the ocean and considers the big blue her home. Apart from gathering beach and sea trash on her own, Katerina organizes regular beach and underwater cleanups in cooperation with schools and volunteers all over the world. She will usually take a group out to collect debris after every AWARE Shark Conservation specialty she teaches. She and her students have removed more than 20 tons (45,000 pounds) of trash from the ocean and she's presented seminars to more than 3,000 students. In recent years, Katerina has expanded her range of cleanups from Greece to other parts of the world including the Bahamas, Cuba and Mexico.

My love for the ocean has grown into a passion to inform people about the misunderstood and beautiful creatures of the underwater world, the sharks!

Katerina Topouzoglou, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor

AWARE Week - Suzy Pinnell

Meet: Suzy Pinnell

Suzy Pinnell opened PADI Dive Center The Dive Bus in Curacao 13 years ago, and first got involved with Project AWARE in 2005 while leading the first cleanup on her local reef. Since then she has helped to create an island community that is taking charge of its conservation problems. Through Suzy’s efforts to reuse, reduce and recycle, The Dive Bus received a PADI Green Star award; this, along with regularly teaching Dive Against Debris Specialty courses, is Suzy leading the way in conservation for dive centers in Curacao.

Since 2005, hundreds (probably thousands) of our divers have played their part in keeping the reef clean and beautiful with us on every dive we make (not only cleanups).

Suzy Pinnell, The Dive Bus Founder

A force

for good.

Throughout its deep history, PADI has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to environmental conservation through its course offerings and alignment with Project AWARE, to protect and preserve our ocean planet.

Learn how PADI is committed to being a force for good through the PADI Pillars of Change.

AWARE Week - Join Divers

Join divers around the world for AWARE Week and show your support for ocean health.