It’s here! The newly revised Project AWARE Specialty course was announced by PADI® and Project AWARE® as part of the AWARE Week celebrations in September. The updated course provides information and encouragement to help individuals take responsibility for ocean health.
Building on the success and popularity of the Project AWARE’s 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet – the backbone of Project AWARE’s philosophy – the Project AWARE Specialty focuses on guiding participants toward personal commitments and actions they can take to help the environment. With a shared belief that no action is too small, PADI and Project AWARE collaborated to revise the specialty and shift its focus to encourage and increase to concrete actions (fins on and fins off) for ocean protection, specifically:
- Be a Buoyancy Expert
- Be a Role Model
- Take Only Photos – Leave Only Bubbles
- Protect Underwater Life
- Become a Debris Activist
- Make Responsible Seafood Choices
- Take Action
- Be an Eco-tourist
- Shrink Your Carbon Footprint
- Give Back
“Over the past quarter of a century, Project AWARE has been at the forefront of emerging ocean issues, amplified divers’ voices on the international stage and brought together a worldwide community tackling some of the most pressing ocean challenges,” says Danna Moore, Director of Global Operations for Project AWARE.
“When updating the content of the Project AWARE Specialty as part of our new mission to connect the passion for adventure with the purpose of marine conservation, the focus was on understanding what inspires and motivates the dive community to take concrete actions that bring about positive change for the ocean.” she adds.
PADI and Project AWARE believe in the power of people to help address threats facing our ocean today, and that large-scale transformation starts with individuals acting locally for global impact. To this end, the Project AWARE Specialty course can be adapted to the local environment, including the integration of local conservation issues and solutions.
As a “fins off” course, meaning no dives required, participants need only have an interest in the aquatic environment or a desire to take action for a clean and healthy ocean – there is no minimum age or experience requirement. As such, scuba divers and non-divers taking the revised Project AWARE Specialty can become true agents of positive change for the ocean by not only pledging to follow the 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet but also deepening their knowledge and understanding of how they can make a difference for ocean protection every time they dive and travel, and throughout daily life.
Contact your PADI Dive Center or Resort to sign up for the new Project AWARE Specialty course – or a number of other courses developed to help divers protect the ocean, such as the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy, Dive Against Debris®, AWARE Shark Conservation or Coral Reef Conservation specialty courses.
For PADI Professionals interested in teaching the revised Project AWARE Specialty, teaching status PADI Assistant Instructors and Open Water Scuba Instructors are automatically eligible to teach the course. PADI Freediver™ Instructors may qualify by submitting a PADI Freediver Specialty Course Instructor Application. PADI Divemasters who have completed Specialty Instructor training with a PADI Course Director and had their applications verified at their PADI Regional Headquarters also qualify to teach this course.