Project AWARE

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Project AWARE
Logo: a hammerhead shark, a diver and the words "Project Aware"
Motto Protecting Our Ocean Planet – One Dive at a Time
Formation 1989
Type NGO
Legal status not for profit incorporation in Australia, UK and USA
Purpose Conservation of the Marine Environment
Headquarters Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, USA; Bristol, United Kingdom; Sydney, Australia
Region served
Dr. Drew Richardson
Executive Director
Alex Earl[1]

Project AWARE is a registered non-profit organization working with volunteer scuba divers and ocean advocates to protect the ocean planet - one dive at a time. Focused on the critical issues of Sharks in Peril and Marine Debris, Project AWARE empowers thousands of divers in more than 180 countries to work together for a clean, healthy and abundant ocean planet."


The Project AWARE Foundation was established in 1989 by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) in response to growing concerns by some scuba divers about potential harm inflicted on coral reefs by recreational and commercial water activities.[2] Man's activities and natural disasters have led to a reductions in our natural reef systems.[2] Divers are in a unique position to observe an environmental crisis in its early stages and are encouraged to contact local authorities when they notice anything unusual.[3]

Project AWARE began collaborating with Reef Check in 2008 to increase their reach in protecting coral reef systems worldwide.[4]

By 2008, Project AWARE's efforts to empower divers to make an impact on marine conservation is the largest in terms of geographical coverage.[5]

In 2011, the organization focused on attention on the removal of marine debris.[6] Volunteer divers from around the world actively remove trash from waterways.[7][8]

Swiss watch manufacturer, Doxa S.A., began production of a limited edition of their Sub1000t series watches that contained 92 units in 2008.[9][10] In 2012, Doxa began a second production of their Sub1200t series with Project AWARE that contained 300 watches.[11] A portion of the sale of each watch goes to support Project AWARE.[11]

Project AWARE have sponsored many regular events such as beach and reef cleaning, coral monitoring and Donate as You Dive campaigns. They continue to monitor and report on the state of the marine environment and lobby governments for greater action on preservation and conservation efforts.


In 2014, the Independent Charities of America announced that Project AWARE had received their "Best in America" Seal of Excellence.[12]


  1. ^ "Alex Earl Executive Director, Project AWARE Foundation, Protecting Our Ocean Planet - One Dive At A Time". LinkedIn. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Cater, Carl I (December 1, 2008). "The Life Aquatic: Scuba Diving and the Experiential Imperative". Tourism in Marine Environments 5 (4): 233–244(12). doi:10.3727/154427308788714777. 
  3. ^ Cater, C; Cater, E. (2001). Marine environments In: Weaver, DB. The Encyclopedia of Ecotourism. p. 271. ISBN 0851993680. Retrieved 2014-03-18. 
  4. ^ staff (25 January 2008). "Reef Check Partners With Project AWARE Foundation". Reef Check. Retrieved 2014-03-18. 
  5. ^ Townsend, Claudia (2008). Dive tourism, sustainable tourism and social responsibility: A growing agenda. In: Brian Garrod, Stefan Gössling (eds.) New Frontiers in Marine Tourism: Diving Experiences, Sustainability, Management. p. 140. ISBN 9780080453576. Retrieved 2014-03-18. 
  6. ^ staff. "Marine debris". Project AWARE. Retrieved 2014-03-18. 
  7. ^ staff (19 September 2003). "Divers in river rubbish clear-up". BBC News. Retrieved 2014-03-18. 
  8. ^ staff (15 September 2011). "Eugene Skin Divers Supply dives against debris". KVAL-TV. Retrieved 2014-03-18. 
  9. ^ Editor (24 October 2008). "Project Aware Doxa Sub Watch Supports Marine Conservation". Xray Magazine. Retrieved 2014-03-09. 
  10. ^ "The Project AWARE DOXA SUB". Doxa S.A. Retrieved 2014-03-09. 
  11. ^ a b "The DOXA SUB1200T Project AWARE edition II". Doxa S.A. Retrieved 2014-03-09. 
  12. ^ staff. "Project AWARE Awarded “Best in America”". SportDiver. Retrieved 2014-03-18. 

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