10 ways Project AWARE and Coral Reef Conservation make you a better diver

Ten ways Project AWARE and Coral Reef Conservation Specialties make you a better diver

Project AWARE logo showing a diver and a shark


Divers are natural advocates and ambassadors for the underwater world. We see and do things most people never will. We are the voice of the reefs, the fish, the aquatic mammals and the vegetation that makes up our aquatic world. As ambassadors and advocates, we need to have the knowledge to talk to others about what happens beneath the waves. The Project AWARE and AWARE-Coral Reef Conservation specialties develop your knowledge so you can be that advocate.


Project AWARE was founded years ago as the environmental arm of PADI, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Originally planned as a ten-year project, it is now well into it’s third decade and it has grown into a world-wide non-profit aquatic conservation organization. “AWARE” stands for Aquatic World Awareness, Responsibility and Education. Project AWARE has influenced generations of divers, guided massive cleanup projects and promoted conservation of endangered species such as sharks and rays.


The Project AWARE Specialty and the AWARE-Coral Reef Conservation Specialty are both based on the “AWARE-Our World, Our Water” eBook.


In the Project AWARE Specialty you’ll learn about:

  • The Project AWARE Foundation
  • The Ocean Commons & a basic intro to marine ecology
  • Fisheries issues (what’s overfished, what’s endangered, what’s okay to eat)
  • Coastal zone management & how politics impact how the coast interacts with the reef
  • Coral Reef Ecology
  • Marine Pollution
  • The role of the diver in protecting the aquatic realm—what you can do to help!


In the AWARE Coral Reef Conservation Specialty, we delve into Coral Reef ecology in depth:

  • What is coral?
  • Nature of life on the reef
  • How threatened are the reefs
  • Protecting the reef: techniques for diving to reduce and avoid impacting the reefs

coral reef diver opportunities

This all flows into the top ten ways you can make a difference

  1. Be a buoyancy expert
  2. Be a role model
  3. Take only pictures—leave only bubbles
  4. Protect underwater life
  5. Become a debris activist
  6. Make responsible seafood choices
  7. Take Action
  8. Be an eco-tourist
  9. Shrink your carbon footprint
  10. Give Back


The Project AWARE and AWARE-Coral Reef conservation specialties give you the tools to make this happen. You can specifically fine-tune your buoyancy skills with a buoyancy refresher or Peak Performance Buoyancy. Shrinking your carbon foot print can be as easy as remembering to turn off the lights when you leave the room and making sure you recycle as often as you can. You can go further by using a reusable water bottle rather than buying bottled water. Most culinary water in the USA is as good as or better than bottled water and costs a fraction of the price, and also has a much lower energy cost to produce. Being an eco-tourist doesn’t have to be difficult: shop for dive operations and resorts that take care of their boats and properly treat their sewage before discharging it.


Learning more about life on a coral reef opens up new things for you to look for on the reef. Ever been diving on a reef at night and it looks fuzzy? Then it suddenly seems to change in the blink of an eye. You’re probably not imagining it. Coral reefs are animal, vegetable and mineral. You may just be seeing the tentacles of the coral animal suddenly retracting in response to a disturbance. AWARE-Coral Reef Conservation will show you more about what goes on on and in the reef.


Be an advocate for aquatic conservation: Take the Project AWARE and AWARE-Coral Reef Conservation Specialties.


[They also count towards the PADI Master Scuba Diver rating!]