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
Region served
Dr. Drew Richardson
Director, Global Operations
Tiffany A. Leite[1]
Affiliations PADI

Project AWARE is a registered nonprofit organization working with volunteer scuba divers. Its currently stated focus is on two issues: "sharks in peril" and marine debris, and it is active in 180 countries.[3]


The Project AWARE Foundation was established in 1989 by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).[4][5] By 2008, it had become one of the largest (by geographical coverage) of several 'industry led' environmental organizations, with administration offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Switzerland and Japan.[6]


Project AWARE, according to its annual reports, has "mobilized" volunteer efforts,[7] such as beach and reef cleaning,[8][9] coral monitoring,[10] and "Donate as You Dive" campaigns. The organization collects data from volunteers who monitor coral health, and encourages the public to pressure governments for greater action on preservation and conservation efforts through letter writing campaigns.[7] In 2008, Project Aware began working with Reef Check, sharing data about coral reef health.[11]

In 2011, the organization announced a new focus on the removal of marine debris, encouraging volunteer divers from around the world to actively remove trash from waterways.[12][13][14]

Project AWARE's current activities include the giving of several grants, and a major focus on educational, motivational, and promotional work.[15] These activities include maintaining a Facebook page, maintaining a debris clean-up map, providing promotional materials to volunteer organizers of local debris clean-up events, promoting letter-writing campaigns, and joining environmental NGO networks in order to give collective support to member organizations' lobbying efforts.[15] They also give awards to PADI dive shops, often in exchange for fundraising commitments and energy saving measures, such as the 100% AWARE campaign which is awarded to dive shops who pledge to donate $10 for each student they certify through PADI, or a $250 per month flat rate.[16]

BBB Rating[edit]

In 2013, the Project Aware Foundation was given a rating of "standards not met," by the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance, due to the low percentage of revenues spent on direct program expenses, as opposed to administrative spending. The Wise Giving Alliance report also noted a lack of budget oversight and a lack of detailed expense reporting.[17]


  1. ^ "Tiffany A. Leite, Director, Global Operations, Project AWARE". LinkedIn. Retrieved 18 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "Our Team". Project AWARE Foundation. Retrieved 17 November 2015. 
  3. ^
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  5. ^ Cater, C; Cater, E. (2001). Marine environments In: Weaver, DB. The Encyclopedia of Ecotourism. p. 271. ISBN 0851993680. Retrieved 2014-03-18. 
  6. ^ 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. 
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  11. ^ staff (25 January 2008). "Reef Check Partners With Project AWARE Foundation". Reef Check. Retrieved 2014-03-18. 
  12. ^ staff. "Marine debris". Project AWARE. Retrieved 2014-03-18. 
  13. ^ staff (19 September 2003). "Divers in river rubbish clear-up". BBC News. Retrieved 2014-03-18. 
  14. ^ staff (15 September 2011). "Eugene Skin Divers Supply dives against debris". KVAL-TV. Retrieved 2014-03-18. 
  15. ^ a b
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External links[edit]