Staff Member ·

What is Project AWARE?

Project AWARE’s philosophy is to mobilize a global force of scuba divers and water enthusiasts who care about protecting the world’s water resources and choose to make a difference – one dive at a time. By earning the Project AWARE Specialist certification, you’ll be aware of the most pressing problems facing vulnerable aquatic environments and know what everyday actions you can take to help protect them.
Anyone who has an interest in the aquatic world should take this course. There are no prerequisites, age restrictions or water sessions required for this non-diving specialty.

Project AWARE is a registered, non-profit organisation and global movement for the oceans protection.
VISION: A clean & healthy ocean
BELIEF: A future where the ocean no longer needs protecting

It was created in 1989 when PADI introduced Project AWARE as a project and environmental ethic for its divers – new, current and future! In 1992 it evolved into a non-profit organisation with a dedicated mission and purpose and in 1999 it formally registered as a charity. In 2011 it introduced Dive Against Debris – the world’s first underwater marine debris survey.


To connect the passion for ocean adventure with the purpose of marine conservation to create lasting change. Project AWARE takes action to create both local and global change for the ocean and the communities who depend on it. Our local actions collectively protect the most vulnerable marine species and decrease pollution.

Project AWARE:

  • Believes in the power of people.
  • Has an evidence and science based approach to ocean conservation.
  • Understands that we are stronger when we join our actions together.
  • Recognises that change itself is a constant and change is needed to create solutions.
  • Believes that each of us, every day, has the power to engage in making the world a better place.

As part of its mission, to help divers along the way, they have created the “Top 10 tips for divers to protect the Ocean planet.” This has been created with divers in mind and how they can help make a difference every time they dive, travel and more!

  1. Buoyancy control.
  2. Being a role model.
  3. Leaving only bubbles.
  4. Protecting underwater life.
  5. Becoming a debris activist.
  6. Making responsible seafood choices.
  7. Taking action.
  8. Becoming an Eco-Tourist.
  9. Shrinking your carbon footprint.
  10. Giving back.

Our project AWARE course helps you understand how you get the most out of the above and teaches you how you can be efficient in contributing towards the health of our oceans - as well as the on-land environment too!
We offer the course as a stand alone and also an add-on option to our PADI Advanced Open Water so you can become an eco-diver.

At Dorset Diving Services we have 2 Project AWARE officers (below) – Open Water Instructor, Ellie and Divemaster, JoJo. As our project AWARE officers, they will be on hand to answer any queries you have about the movement and will be around to help encourage you stick to the top 10 tips. They also manage our Project AWARE Facebook page (more info below) and organise project AWARE events. JoJo is also keen on introducing ways in which the dive centre can be green, so keep an eye out for small changes at our new dive centre and when we’re on site. Did you see her blog post about ways on how you can reduce your carbon footprint?

Recently, during lockdown, JoJo (top right) became a Project AWARE and a Coral Reef Conservation specialty instructor. So, in celebration we are currently offering 10% off the Project AWARE course – this offer is only valid for 1 week until 20th February 2021. To claim this offer book online and use code ‘PA10’ at the checkout.

Also, in loyalty to our project AWARE commitment, we have introduced a new ‘add-on’ to our PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course. For an extra £50 you can complete the Project AWARE course to become an ‘eco-Advanced’ Open Water Diver – this saves you £35 and is sure to allow you to become a more conscious diver.

Other Project AWARE Courses

Project AWARE also offer other courses that are environmentally friendly, as well as awareness courses.

  • Coral Reef Conservation
    This course helps you appreciate the complexity of coral reef habitats and teaches how you can help conserve these vital systems. The Coral Reef Conservation Specialty course helps you appreciate the complexity of these habitats and teaches you how you can help conserve these vital systems. Anyone who has an interest in the aquatic world can take this course. There are no prerequisites or age restrictions and no water sessions are required to earn this non-diving certification.
  • Dive Against Debris
    Learn about the problems of marine debris, conducting Dive Against Debris surveys, and how divers are a part of the solution to keeping our oceans clean. Gain the knowledge and skills to activate your inner citizen scientist by taking the Dive Against Debris® Specialty. You'll learn to complete Dive Against Debris surveys under the guidance of a PADI® Professional and help keep you your local dive sites healthier by removing trash.
  • AWARE Shark Conservation
    Sharks are an essential part of a healthy ocean. This course explores why they are vulnerable, the importance of a healthy shark population, managing threats and how to take action to protect them. Love sharks? Scared of sharks? Or do you just want to know more about them? Enroll in an AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty course and discover the value of sharks to marine ecosystems and economies. You'll learn more about the causes of declining shark populations and the actions you can take to become a knowledgeable and passionate shark defender. By being informed, you can dispel misconceptions and act to protect sharks. Sharks need you!
  • Sea Turtle Awareness
    While not strictly a Project AWARE course, it is a PADI Distinctive Specialty. There’s been a steady decline in worldwide sea turtle populations, but there are ways to fight this. Learn basic sea turtle identification, how to record sightings and conservation steps you can take.
  • Other similar courses of interest:
    PADI Fish ID Specialty
    PADI Underwater Naturalist
    PADI Digital Underwater Photographer
    PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy

Project AWARE also have numerous campaigns that they, as well as other divers, are passionate about. Check them out here:


If you’re interested in taking one of these courses head on over to our website and book yourself on. These courses are presentation led so will be presented either online or in person at the dive centre (once restrictions are allowed). Once you’ve completed any Project AWARE course you will be invited to join us in our ‘DDS Project AWARE divers’ Facebook page, where you can keep up to date with Project AWARE news, worldwide news relating to the subjects covered in the project and you can get involved in our local event organised by JoJo & Ellie.
As part of your payment to the course £10 will be donated to the Project AWARE Foundation and you will receive a specific Project AWARE certification card.


If you want any more information please feel free to contact us.



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