PADI® and the Project AWARE® team are joining forces to empower people everywhere to carry the torch for ocean protection with the third annual AWARE Week. Taking place 19-27 September 2020, AWARE Week will encourage the global dive community to lead or take part in conservation activities and courses for a clean and healthy ocean. AWARE Week will provide opportunities to support ocean health, fins off and fins on, in a variety of ways so anyone can get involved in whatever capacity they can during these times.
The week will emphasize PADI’s Torchbearer 5 framework – five key goals to guide community actions during AWARE Week and into the future. The goals are set to ensure individual contributions play into a wider movement that will ultimately turn the dial toward a healthy future for people and planet. Throughout AWARE Week, PADI and Project AWARE will provide specific and tangible actions that people can make to drive progress for each goal collectively, including:
- Stand Up for the Ocean. Advocate for the protection of sharks, one of the most vulnerable marine species on the planet. Project AWARE is promoting and tracking support from Atlantic fishing nations to tackle one of the world’s most pressing shark conservation crises: the dangerous decline of Atlantic shortfin makos. If your country is not on the Mako Champions Map, you can help change that at www.projectaware.org/sharkleague.
- Assume Responsibility. Divers are drawn to develop a deeper understanding of the ocean’s ecosystems so we can understand key ocean threats, identify ways to take action and give tips to be responsible ocean adventurers. Host or take the Project AWARE Specialty course to sharpen understanding with the “Top 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet.”
- Dive with a Purpose. Every dive is an opportunity to collect vital data that can be used to create future protection measures for the ocean. By downloading the Dive Against Debris® App and reporting what you find, you join the largest underwater citizen science movement on the planet. You can directly inform marine debris research, thereby mitigating the impacts of pollution on the ocean planet.
- Reduce Our Carbon Footprint. Coastal sea beds are the most powerful CO2 and carbon filters on the planet, storing upward of 50 percent of the CO2 trapped by the ocean and providing the foundations of life in the ocean. Contribute to the conservation and restoration of seagrass meadows and mangrove swamps, and amplify awareness about the issue and how divers can help with the Project AWARE Specialty course.
- Make Sustainable Choices. During AWARE Week, reinforce sustainable habits by choosing to be especially mindful of what you are supporting with every purchase you make, and share those choices that are supporting a brighter future.
Here are just a few of the many ways PADI Professionals, Dive Centers, Resorts and divers all across the industry can lead these efforts in their community and maximize the impact of AWARE Week:
- If you haven’t done so already, start by joining PADI’s growing community of torchbearers for ocean protection. The PADI Torchbearer community is a critical ally to the ocean planet – a force for good that can be mobilized to restore ocean health and support our coastal communities around the world.
- Offer Project AWARE specialty courses, including the revised Project AWARE Specialty, Dive Against Debris Specialty, and AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty. From learning about tips to protect the ocean planet to understanding how underwater citizen science and marine debris data can help affect policy change, each course gives ocean enthusiasts the power to protect the ocean. Visit the Project AWARE Online Teaching Hub for more information about conducting Project AWARE specialty courses virtually during these times. Visit the Project AWARE website for information on teaching eligibility and course materials.
- Take part in a Dive Against Debris® or join an AWARE Week event near you – or host your own for your local community. Add your AWARE Week actions to Project AWARE’s Action Map and My Ocean, Project AWARE’s online community of agents of positive change.
Hosts can list their events, activities and courses on the PADI Adventures™ app to elevate awareness with divers near them. Learn more about AWARE Week 2020 at www.projectaware.org/news/aware-week-2020.