2020 IMPACT REPORT
COMING TOGETHER IN CRISIS FOR A
CLEAN & HEALTHY OCEAN
A Letter From Our Director
Who We Are
A Global Voice
2020: Coming Together In Crisis For A Clean And Healthy Ocean A New Decade of Ocean Science A Clean Ocean
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Tackling Marine Debris
COVID19 Impact on Our Oceans
Dive Against Debris® Informs Global Study on Marine Debris
Expanding a Citizen’s Science Movement
Adopt a Dive Site®
2020 Dive Against Debris® Data Report
Partnerships Against Trash
Impact Stories: Community Action Against Trash
A Healthy Ocean
United for Biodiversity
Shark and Ray Conservation 2020 Highlights
Impact Stories: Community Action for a Healthy Ocean
AWARE Week: 2020 Impact and Participation during AWARE Week
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100% AWARE Partners
Ways to Give
Board of Directors
Project AWARE Staff
A LETTER FROM OUR
Director What happens when you bring together the purpose of marine conservation with the passion for underwater adventure? A global movement that takes real action for the ocean planet. Despite the unprecedented challenges that 2020 brought, Project AWARE supporter’s individual actions collectively continued to accelerate our conservation goals and advanced our vision for a return to a clean and healthy ocean. Throughout the year, Project AWARE responded to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic by taking fins-on and fins-off actions that kept people, passionate about ocean conservation, connected during this crisis. Above and beneath the waves, or from our homes, we united in support of a healthy ocean planet. 2020 saw us take the global Dive Against Debris® dataset to the next level – with the first peerreviewed scientific study published in partnership with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Ocean Conservancy, presenting groundbreaking results from investigating the relationship between shoreline debris and seafloor debris. The Dive Against Debris data collected by our community of citizen scientists fills critical data gaps, mitigates pollution impacts on the marine
environment, and ultimately advances sound policy. With our partners, Project AWARE will publish findings in additional scientific publications in 2021 to inform and engage governments, clearly linking underwater community actions to policy change. Our flagship Dive Against Debris program has now engaged over 96,900 scuba divers in 124 countries, continuing to grow the largest underwater data set of seafloor debris on the planet. Throughout 2020, Project AWARE continued to actively collaborate with our Shark League partners, as well as with scientists, government officials, and most importantly, our supporters to promote and track support from Atlantic fishing nations to tackle one of the world’s most pressing shark conservation crises: the dangerous decline of Atlantic shortfin mako sharks. We urged top fishing nations to prohibit retention of this endangered species, and continued to push for an Atlantic-wide ban. We even urged the global community to make their own voices heard on social media in support of protecting Atlantic mako sharks. To date, more than 29,500 people have signed our #Divers4Makos petition.
Divers around the globe joined forces from 19th – 27th September 2020 to protect ocean health in honor of AWARE Week 2020. The third annual weeklong event took new forms this year as divers and dive leaders participated online, in their communities, and in the water where possible. We are proud to share that more than 1,600 divers safely collected more than 32,000 debris items in 45 different countries during the weeklong celebration. While this certainly wasn’t the year anyone expected, we are proud of the Project AWARE team and global community for their ability to adapt and pivot as necessary throughout 2020 – and ultimately continue our mission to return to a clean and healthy ocean. We couldn’t do this critical work without the support of our partners, donors, global community, staff and Board of Directors. We thank each and every one of them for creating positive change for our ocean planet, above and below the surface in 2020.
Together we are Project AWARE. Where Conservation Meets AdventureSM
Danna Moore Director, Global Operations
WHO WE ARE
© Paul Winkworth
At Project AWARE® we believe in a future where the ocean no longer needs protecting. We connect the passion for ocean adventure with the purpose of marine conservation to create lasting change.
The two critical areas that Project AWARE seeks to influence are: Community and Policy. We provide the tools and inspiration for our global community to take action with both fins on and fins off and we link those actions to policy to drive towards our vision for a return to a clean, healthy ocean. Project AWARE is a registered charity, with offices located in Australia, United Kingdom and the United States. We take 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. We are a global movement for ocean protection powered by a community of adventurers - Where Conservation Meets Adventure™
We bring together a dedicated team of individuals around the world who share a passion for ocean protection and adventure to secure real and direct environmental victories.
We collaborate, co-create and partner with individuals, governments, NGOS, and businesses who, like us, believe in a future where the ocean no longer needs protecting.
We champion policy change, engage and activate a global volunteer community to tackle specific objectives for global ocean conservation.
A GLOBAL VOICE WEB VISITORS IN 2020
In the face of so many challenges, we are united by our shared passion for the ocean and the belief that no action is too small to protect it. Online and offline, we inspire, inform, create and share actions needed to engage, connect and bring together the passion for adventure with the purpose of ocean conservation.
We are a global voice for the ocean and our 2020 Impact Report demonstrates and showcases the power of what, together with our global community, we can achieve for a return to a clean and healthy ocean.
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238.8K YOUTUBE VIEWS
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2020: COMING TOGETHER IN CRISIS FOR A
CLEAN & HEALTHY OCEAN
Credit: Rainbow Reef Dive Center/Ocean Rays Photography
A NEW DECADE OF OCEAN SCIENCE Staying true to our values of collaboration and knowing we are stronger together, Project AWARE is committed to facilitating the citizen science we need for the ocean we want. From working to secure trade controls for vulnerable marine species, to building an army of Dive Against Debris® activists taking our flagship underwater citizen science programme to the next level, 2020 saw Project AWARE actively leverage community action across the globe. Scuba divers have been carrying the Project AWARE torch for ocean protection since the late 1980's. Time and time again, the dive community has proven that their collective actions and support matter, and 2020 was no different despite the challenges of a global pandemic. Whether divers report rare shark sightings, monitor coral reefs' health, or submit marine debris data, every piece of information, every survey submitted is a key part of helping sustainably manage the world’s marine ecosystems. Project AWARE is partnering with scientists and other key organizations to analyze the Dive Against Debris® dataset in order to inform research and policy change, advancing our knowledge and understanding regarding marine debris. Project AWARE is building an increasingly comprehensive global dataset that can be used to help inform effective prevention measures to stop further debris entering the ocean and thus helping to reduce ecosystem degradation. Countries can use Dive Against Debris data to advance policies and legislation at national and international levels. Additionally, Project AWARE is committed to working with countries to help them identify where they may need to focus their efforts, based on what is reported through Dive Against Debris.
Our community not only includes individual ocean lovers but also businesses, NGOs, and corporate partners who share our passion for the underwater world. Over the last 12 months, we have continued our work with the Shark League, Global Ghost Gear Initiative, Seas At Risk, and our 100% AWARE partners to name just a few. Together with the Shark League - a coalition focused on responsible regional conservation of sharks and rays - Project AWARE is working towards securing science-based shark and ray catch limits and strict protections for endangered species. Project AWARE is committed to working with Global Ghost Gear Initiative partners to support the adoption of a Best Practice Framework for the Management of Fishing Gear as well as promoting ghost gear reduction measures at RFMOs. Together we are committed to tackling abandoned, lost and otherwise discarded fishing gear on a global scale. Taking action with Project AWARE for a clean and healthy ocean helps support a sustainable and resilient future for people and the planet. Throughout 2020 and looking towards this new decade of ocean science, Project AWARE is committed to providing a platform to accelerate community-led efforts and secure science-based conservation measures to protect and restore the ocean at local, national, and international levels.
Credit: Blue Corner Dive
A CLEAN OCEAN TACKLING MARINE DEBRIS
Pollution is one of the greatest threats facing the ocean planet. Marine debris – our human made trash that enters the ocean - is highly damaging with long lasting impacts on marine life, ecosystems, and not to mention our very own human health.
Project AWARE has a longstanding history working on marine debris. Throughout 2020, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued to strive towards our vision of returning to a clean and healthy ocean through strategic partnerships, local community action, and dedicated policy action. Dive Against Debris – our flagship Clean Ocean program – continues to evolve and strengthen. Having launched in 2011, the overarching goal is to yield quantitative data regarding seafloor marine debris that is robust enough to inform policy and improve waste management processes across all geographic scales. The program has evolved and grown with our community, from ad-hoc clean-ups to a credible citizen science program. Project AWARE is now actively achieving pivotal milestones which bring Dive Against Debris to the forefront as a credible, scientifically sound, and cost-effective monitoring service that local and national governments can use to inform and report on debris management policies around the world.
2020 saw us take the global Dive Against Debris dataset to the next level – with the first peerreviewed scientific study published in partnership with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Ocean Conservancy presenting groundbreaking results from investigating the relationship between shoreline debris and seafloor debris. 2020 also included a published research study informed by Dive Against Debris surveys of seafloor debris specifically in the Mediterranean Sea, the results of which have been made available to develop waste management actions across Europe. The Project AWARE team is so proud to be part of such an active, creative, and supportive community of ocean adventurers. Our Clean Ocean work demonstrates the way in which we can collectively build the evidence needed to drive lasting change - connecting local community actions with peerreviewed science as well as local, national and international policy to prevent debris entering the ocean in the first place.
“THROUGH EXPANDING THE SCOPE OF DIVE AGAINST DEBRIS AND ADOPT A DIVE SITE AND INCLUDING IN THESE INITIATIVES A WIDE RANGE OF UNDERWATER CITIZEN SCIENCE ACTIONS, WE ARE INCREASING OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE COMMUNITY TO DIVE WITH A PURPOSE AND CONTRIBUTE DATA TO ADVANCE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT RESEARCH.” – Ian Campbell Project AWARE Associate Director of Policy and Campaigns
COVID-19 IMPACT ON OUR OCEANS
In 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic showed more than ever how human health is intimately connected with our relationship to the natural world. While at the beginning of the pandemic, the ocean seemed to benefit from a pause in human activity, it soon became clear that associated COVID-19 waste is making its way into the ocean and negatively impacting marine life and the marine environment. From disposable face masks and latex gloves to single-use plastics associated with increased takeaway and delivery food ordering, it is evident that COVID-19 waste found its way to the ocean throughout 2020. Beach cleaners and divers around the world found pandemic related waste at a wide variety of sites around the world - from coastal beaches to seagrass beds to coral reefs.
In the wake of COVID-19, having the ability to monitor debris items is now more than ever an essential component to evaluating the social, economic, and environmental impacts of the pandemic.
Project AWARE responded to the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak by taking fins off and fins on actions that kept people, passionate about ocean conservation, connected throughout the year. Above and below the surface, or from our homes, we stood together for a healthy ocean planet. Mixed in with the usual marine debris culprits, Dive Against Debris surveys reported by divers across the world removed disposable masks, gloves and bottles of hand sanitizer from the marine environment. Project AWARE and other NGOs urged people to embrace reusable face masks, swap disposable gloves for more frequent handwashing, and continue to choose reusable bags, bottles, straws, cutlery, and containers whenever possible. Project AWARE also supported The Boomerang Alliance, Coordinator of the National Plastic Free Places program, when they released a plastic-free takeaway and delivery service guide for cafes and restaurants in response to COVID-19. The guide shows how food outlets can avoid single-use plastics, and what compostable packaging is available.
© Sergio Hanquet
DIVE AGAINST DEBRIS® INFORMS GLOBAL STUDY ON MARINE DEBRIS In May, The Journal of Environmental Pollution published a groundbreaking new study by scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Ocean Conservancy, and Project AWARE that evaluated the relationship between shoreline debris and seafloor debris. The first global analysis of its kind, the study drew on data sets obtained from Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris seafloor surveys and the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanups along beaches. “It is such an important milestone for the organization, our community, and marine debris research. This research will inform future policy solutions on this significant ocean threat. This work is an excellent example of how Project AWARE advances our vision for a return to a clean and healthy ocean – strategically aligning community action with policy change.” - Danna Moore Project AWARE Director of Global Operations
This study is the culmination of almost a decade of advancing the Dive Against Debris program through the hard work of the Project AWARE team, our partners, and our community. The seafloor data analyzed took 7 years of reporting efforts (between 2011 and 2018), spanned 86 countries, and totaled 915,430 items during 5,930 citizen science surveys. Each survey went through an internal quality review process to ensure we could advance credible marine debris research.
A general mismatch between shoreline debris and seafloor debris was found, while correlation was found with items that entangle or sink like fishing line and plastic bags. Statistical analysis by CSIRO scientists suggests that buoyancy, as well as the tendency to snag, most closely predicts whether an item found on the beach will also appear under the water. Collectively, the analysis found that the 10 most common items across both habitats are: cigarettes, fishing line, plastic fragments, food wrappers, plastic bottles, glass bottles, plastic bottle caps, metal cans, plastic bags and synthetic foam. Of these, seven items are wholly or partially made of plastic, while five are directly tied to the food and beverage industry. This study tangibly demonstrates the important role that citizen science programs can play in informing and mitigating environmental pollution, and was truly a collective effort that brought to the surface what’s beneath the waves. “Our study makes a strong case that not only do beach and underwater cleanups provide critical, complementary data about the extent of debris in the ocean, but that concerted action is needed on those items common to both habitats.” - Dr. George Leonard Ocean Conservancy Chief Scientist
PLASTIC BOTTLE CAPS
PLASTIC FISHING LINE
PLASTIC BEVERAGE BOTTLES
EXPANDING A CITIZEN’S SCIENCE MOVEMENT Through a commitment to accelerating marine debris removal and reporting through Dive Against Debris, Project AWARE is encouraging the global dive community to make Every Dive A Survey Dive which includes reporting debris-free sites. With strategic collaboration, Project AWARE’s Clean Ocean Strategy is helping ensure that there is less debris in the marine environment posing a hazard to human health and wellbeing - removing the debris that already exists in the ocean and working towards solutions to prevent more debris entering the ocean in the first place. In 2020, we continued to strongly encourage divers to take a stand against debris in the ocean and to make #EveryDiveaSurveyDive. Only divers have the skills required to collect Dive Against Debris data which is essential to find long-term solutions to the marine debris crisis. With less people able to access the underwater world in 2020 due to lockdowns and travel restrictions, each diver that entered the ocean played an exceptionally important role in keeping the ocean clean. Collectively our actions add up to big results... Data matters!
Credit: Lets Dive Brazil
Credit: Trawagan Dive
ADOPT A DIVE SITE® In total, 448 sites around the world are ‘adopted’ by our committed supporters and volunteers. This program provides the necessary foundation for our global citizen science footprint, one that is continuing to grow and expand.
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s end F ri
Due to impacts of the pandemic, the popular Adopt a Dive Site initiative was put on pause from September 1st through the end of the year. Remarkably, a total of 37 dive sites were still adopted through the program in 2020. Harnessing the unique underwater skill set of the scuba diving community, Adopt a Dive Site urges scuba diving leaders around the globe – to engage in ongoing, local protection and monitoring of our underwater playgrounds.
“IT’S A REALLY SIMPLE WAY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE UNDERWATER. DIVERS ARE PASSIONATE OCEAN ADVOCATES AND OFTEN DIVE THE SAME SITE REGULARLY. ADOPT A DIVE SITE GIVES THEM A WAY TO TAKE OWNERSHIP OF THEIR LOCAL DIVE SITE AND BE PART OF THE SOLUTION TO ACHIEVING A CLEAN, HEALTHY OCEAN.” - Peta Day Project AWARE Community Coordinator
2020 DIVE AGAINST DEBRIS DATA REPORT To ensure we support a quality Dive Against Debris dataset, each survey submitted to the Project AWARE team goes through a meticulous quality review process by our dedicated staff.
The following pages provide a mere snapshot of that body of work plus all that goes on ‘behind the scenes’ enabling us to ensure our policy priorities are informed by sound data and science.
TOP 3 REPORTING COUNTRIES
1 USA - 509
24.37% OF GLOBAL
NETHERLANDS ANTILLES - 117 5.60% OF GLOBAL
2 INDONESIA - 147 7.7.04% OF GLOBAL
1,762 HOURS UNDERWATER
SURVEYS (QR-PASSED ONLY)
DEBRIS FREE SURVEYS
TOTAL WEIGHT OF DEBRIS REMOVED:
42,519 kgs 93,754 lbs
DIVE AGAINST DEBRIS SPECIALITY INSTRUCTORS & TRAINERS
229,784 ITEMS OF DEBRIS REMOVED 61.2% BEING PLASTIC ITEMS (140,649)
DIVE AGAINST DEBRIS SPECIALTY STUDENTS
DEBRIS ITEMS BREAKDOWN
PLASTIC 67.09% 140,649 METALS 16.40% 34,375 GLASS & CERAMICS 7.49% 15,697 CLOTH 3.42% 7,161 OTHER 1.78% 3,723 MIXED 1.14% 2,400 PAPER & CARDBOARD 1.06% 2,217 RUBBER 0.86% 1,804 WOOD 0.76% 1,601
TOP 10 ITEMS REPORTED TO DIVE AGAINST DEBRIS IN 2020 ONLY Quantity
% of all items
1. Plastic Fragments
2. Plastic Fishing Line
3. Plastic Food Wrappers
4. Plastic Bags (Grocery/Retail)
5. Plastic Cigarette Filters
6. Metal Fishing Gear: Sinkers, Lures, Hooks
7. Glass Beverage Bottles
8. Metal Beverage Cans (Aluminium)
9. Plastic Cups, Plates, Forks, Knives, Spoons
Top 10 Items
1 2 3
6 7 8 9 10
10. Glass & Ceramic Fragments
TOP 10 TRASH ITEMS FOUND IN THE OCEAN 2011 - 2020
Plastic Fishing Line Plastic Fragments
Plastic Food Wrappers Plastic Beverage Bottles
Glass Beverage Bottles
Less than 2 litres
Metal Beverage Cans Plastic Bags
Sinkers, Lures, Hooks
Metal Fishing Gear
Plastic Cigarette Filters
Plastic Cups, Plates, Forks Knives, Spoons
PARTNERSHIPS AGAINST TRASH
Solutions to the marine debris issue are not possible without partnerships – large and small – and a groundswell of support for change. We bring our unique, underwater perspective on marine debris that scuba divers help shape through the Dive Against Debris data they report. In order to influence positive change, Project AWARE partners against trash through these initiatives and alliances:
Through a variety of high profile international fora, Project AWARE has represented the global community of adventurers and delivered a Clean Ocean strategy to key stakeholders ensuring that addressing marine debris and working towards solutions to prevent marine debris at the source remains at the top of the agenda.
COMMUNITY ACTION AGAINST TRASH
STAFF AS TORCHBEARERS The PADI Torchbearer community is a critical ally to the ocean – a force for good that can be mobilized to restore ocean health and support coastal communities around the world. It will take all of us working together, united by our passion and armed with a clear plan of action. And by all, we mean ALL.
“Every time I travel or go out for a nice walk, I bring my reusable water bottle with me and fill it in the water fountains to cut down on plastic. We also drink filtered tap water at home, which tastes so much better!” - Stefania Di Dio Project AWARE Communications and Translations Coordinator
That includes our community of PADI and Project AWARE staff. In October, as the PADI Torchbearer Movement continued to gain traction, we reflected on our collective goal to make sustainable choices and shared how it relates to our own lives – in big ways and in small ways.
“I love visiting a nearby organic farm to buy local fruits and veg and avoid unnecessary packaging. During the summer, picking the warm strawberries from the field is a real treat.” - Lauren Wiskerson Project AWARE Development Manager
“Dive Against Debris reusable bags aren’t just for rubbish! I keep clean ones in my car at all times for fresh produce at the markets.” - Jack Fishman Project AWARE Community Conservation Officer
“In addition to shifting to LED lighting and reducing energy consumption at my home, I have shifted the electrical powering to 100% sustainable solar energy. I have reduced driving my automobile by over 90% in his pandemic, I grow my own vegetables or source locally from organic farmers, recycle as much as possible while reducing single use plastic usage, planted native drought tolerant landscaping to reduce water consumption for my local climate, and generally think about my lifestyle and consumer choices and consumption mindfully to try to reduce my impact as I go forward.” - Drew Richardson PADI Worldwide CEO
“Not only have I switched to shampoo bars rather than bottles to cut down my plastic waste, but I also make my own soap so I know exactly what I am putting on my skin. Plus, I can recycle my old cool gin bottles.” - Peta Day Project AWARE Community Coordinator
“One of the small changes we’ve made as a family is switching to reusable tea bags and loose leaf tea.” - Ian Campbell Project AWARE Associate Director of Policy and Campaigns
CURACAO SPECIAL SUMMER UNDERWATER CLEANUP The community of Curacao are true leaders in the fight to protect what they love and the Curacao Special Summer Underwater and Beach Cleanup truly underlined this.
This event, organized by FORCE BLUE, The Dive Bus Curacao, Dive Curacao, and supported by Project AWARE, became a beautiful reminder of community spirit, where a wonderful turnout of divers and non-divers to support this island initiative for Voedselbank Curacao (a local food bank), became a gathering of devoted and likeminded spirits during troubled times.
“Our island’s subaquatic life is one of the many things that sets our island apart from others in the Caribbean. So it is of immense importance that we all work together as a sustainable community to conserve our ocean. The commitment of the Curacao Dive Industry to the Dive Against Debris and Adopt a Dive Site initiatives is the first step for sustaining and spreading awareness of our island’s ocean life. With the assistance and teamwork of the entire community I am certain that we can make this initiative bigger, create a sustainable change, and provide the upcoming generation a healthier marine environment.” - Miles Mercera CEO of Curacao Hospitality & Tourism Association
Credit: Gail Johnson Photography
REEF CHECK BRUNEI REMOVES GHOST NETS In August, Reef Check Brunei, an NGO on the island of Borneo, organised a ghost net removal dive to promote Dive Against Debris surveys under the Project AWARE initiative - and to strengthen coral reef conservation throughout the country.
Joined by representatives from Future Ocean Borneo Miri and Jolly Roger, 12 divers removed nearly 55 kilograms (120 pounds) of ghost nets from the waters surrounding Pulau PelongPelongan, located within the boundaries of a marine protected area. According to Reef Check Brunei, most coral reefs in the region have been given a reprieve due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the years, coral reefs here have been subjected to a tremendous amount of damage. Since the onset of the outbreak, the restrictive measures implemented have allowed most coral reefs in Brunei some time to heal. By removing ghost nets, this group is taking direct action to further ensure a healthy future for Brunei’s coral reefs.
“...RESTRICTIVE MEASURE IMPLEMENTED HAVE ALLOWED MOST CORAL REEFS IN BRUNEI SOME TIME TO HEAL.”
Credit: Rainbow Reef Dive Center
Credit: Josh Munoz
Credit: Emma Sturman
Credit: Blue Bay Dive Curacao
Credit: Liz Patkinson
Credit: Deep Blue Dive Center
Credit: Andy Walch
Credit: Ocean Rays Photography
A HEALTHY OCEAN
BLUE MANIFESTO Project AWARE joined environmental NGOs in Europe to make our ocean healthy by 2030. Launched in January 2020, the Blue Manifesto lays out concrete actions that must be delivered by set dates in order to turn the tide on the ever-degraded and polluted ocean and coastlines.
To be successful, change is needed both above and below the surface. More than 100 environmental organisations including Seas At Risk, BirdLife Europe, ClientEarth, Oceana, Surfrider Foundation Europe, WWF, and of course Project AWARE are calling for: At least 30% of the ocean to be highly or fully protected by 2030 Shift to low-impact fishing Securing a pollution-free ocean Planning of human activities that support the restoration of thriving marine ecosystems The situation in marine ecosystems around the world is dire, as stressed by recent reports released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and by the UN Intergovernmental SciencePolicy Platform. Urgent action
is needed, and Europe can play a leading role in facing this challenge. Heeding the recommendations presented in the Blue Manifesto will put Europe on the right track to protect and restore the ocean, which is under increasing threat and on which life on Earth depends. With the European Green Deal, the European Commission has committed to implement real climate and biodiversity strategies that will shift investment and legislation towards a climate-resilient and ecologically diverse future. This collective of NGOs is calling on the European Commission to ensure that the ocean is an integral part of these strategies by following the guidelines proposed in the Blue Manifesto.
UNITED FOR BIODIVERSITY Nature-based solutions offer the best way to achieve human wellbeing, tackle climate change, and protect our living planet. Yet nature is in crisis. Project AWARE mobilized its global community to take action for #Biodiversity2020. As part of the 2020 global World Wildlife Day celebrations on March 3rd, the European Commission launched a new global coalition for biodiversity: United For Biodiversity at the iconic Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. Members of the Project AWARE team were thrilled to attend the event and join the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans & Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius and UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen in calling for stronger mobilization to protect biodiversity ahead of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The EU Commission called on all national parks, aquariums, botanic gardens, zoos, science and natural history museums to join forces and boost public awareness about the nature crisis. They also encouraged national, regional, and local authorities, non-governmental organizations (like Project AWARE), businesses, scientists and individual citizens to play their part in raising awareness ahead of the United Nations Biodiversity Summit. During CoP15, the 196 Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity are expected to adopt a new global framework to
protect and restore nature. This framework is as needed for biodiversity protection as the Paris Agreement is for the climate urgency. While CoP15 was originally scheduled to occur in October 2020, the meeting was shifted back in light of the global pandemic, and was rescheduled for Spring of 2021. The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco hosted the ceremony to mark both the launch of the United for Biodiversity Pledge and handover of the leadership of the Aquariums Against Plastic Pollution coalition from the EU Commission to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) under the Clean Seas campaign. The ceremony was followed by a workshop attended by NGOs, communications experts, and outreach specialists to help design the future of Aquariums Against Plastic Pollution under the Clean Seas umbrella. It was a pleasure to chair one of the workshop sessions focused on Community Action and share ideas, best practices, and case studies with passionate educators, scientists, and ocean advocates. We are grateful to have been invited by the EU Commission to contribute to the workshop and join this inspiring event.” - Domino Albert Project AWARE Associate Director of Global Communications
Also on March 3rd, people around the globe celebrated World Wildlife Day – a day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. For ocean adventurers like us, it was an opportunity to recognize the value of marine life and remind ourselves of our responsibility to protect it.
Project AWARE invited the global community to join us in celebrating World Wildlife Day 2020, encouraging people to take action for marine wildlife by tagging #WWD2020 and #DoOneThingToday.
Credit: Sam Lawrence
SHARK & RAY CONSERVATION 2020 HIGHLIGHTS Despite the challenges presented by the global pandemic, 2020 was an important year for shark conservation. Overfishing and habitat loss are two of the biggest threats facing marine life. Project AWARE has always held the protection of shark and ray species at the crux of this issue as many are especially vulnerable to both overfishing and loss of critical habitats. In fact, one in four shark and ray species is facing an increased threat of extinction due primarily to overfishing and habitat loss. The future of sharks and rays - and the health of our ocean planet - hinges on keeping fishing and trade in check as well as protection for critical habitats such as nursery, mating and feeding grounds. To address this threat with action, Project AWARE is a member of the Shark League, a global coalition of conservation organizations (sharkleague. org), working under our flagship Healthy Ocean program to focus on key opportunities to secure meaningful shark and ray conservation measures and protections.
#MakeorBreak4Makos Project AWARE and our Shark League partners have been pushing for reducing fishing pressure on mako sharks for a number of years, backed by over 29,500 people who have signed our #Divers4Makos petition.
Overfishing is the main threat to sharks and rays, and thus our relentless work to put an end to uncontrolled mako shark fishing continues. This year, we continued to actively collaborate with our Shark League partners, as well as with scientists, government officials, and most importantly, our supporters. Throughout 2020, Project AWARE promoted and tracked support from Atlantic fishing nations to tackle one of the world’s most pressing shark conservation crises: the dangerous decline of Atlantic shortfin mako sharks. We urged top fishing nations to prohibit retention of this endangered species, as advised by International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) fisheries scientists,
and continued to push for an Atlantic-wide ban. We even urged the global community to make their own voices heard on social media in support of protecting Atlantic mako sharks, leading up to the ICCAT negotiations. The inherently vulnerable, ecologically vital, and economically valuable shortfin mako is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, with trade of mako sharks limited under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). These highly migratory sharks are fished by many countries for meat, fins and sport, and are in dire need of international catch limits. Project AWARE and Shark League partners celebrated a science-based decision by the Canadian and Senegalese governments to propose an end to all retention of endangered shortfin mako sharks in Atlantic fisheries. With this action, Canada and Senegal led an initiative to establish the science-based limits advised by scientists, and were supported by countries such as the UK, Egypt, Panama, Japan and China.
Unfortunately, the European Union and the United States – despite long promoting science-based shark conservation – once again served as the main obstacles to urgently needed protections for mako sharks through the 2020 ICCAT negotiations – which happened virtually in light of the pandemic. The Committee Chair has proposed another meeting in July 2021 as the next opportunity for Atlantic-wide action. Project AWARE and The Shark League are intently focused on making sure that the next round of ICCAT mako negotiations finally result in the protections that makos and their ecosystem so urgently need. “It has been heartbreaking to watch the US devolve from a global shark conservation leader to a primary obstacle to international, science-based protections for endangered makos. On behalf of tens of thousands of American divers, we will be urging the incoming Biden-Harris administration to restore US commitment to science and the precautionary approach, especially when it comes to exceptionally vulnerable and irreplaceable marine life like sharks.” - Ian Campbell Project AWARE Associate Director of Policy and Campaigns
COMMUNITY ACTION FOR A HEALTHY OCEAN FLORIDA KEYS SEA TURTLE RESCUE AND TRASH TREK In August, Key Dives hosted the first ever sea turtle rescue and trash trek in the same day. During the all-day affair, a group of dedicated divers first collected more than 500 pounds of marine debris, followed by sea turtle release. Weeks before, in partnership with The Turtle Hospital, the Key Dives crew rescued a juvenile green sea turtle (estimated to be about 7 years old) that was looking very lethargic. Once the hospital staff was able to sort out the sea turtle’s intestinal issues, he was ready to return home to the reef. The Key Dives crew and members of The Turtle Hospital staff were so delighted to release this little sea turtle back onto the reef where they initially rescued him – a successful event indeed!
Credit: Key Dives Cleanup
WHALE CONSERVATION DISTINCTIVE SPECIALITY In June, Dive Ninjas Expeditions launched a PADI Whale Conservation Distinctive Specialty Course. Thanks to Jay Clue, conservationist and founder of Dive Ninja, scuba divers and non-scuba divers are now able to learn about whale biology, threats facing whales globally, conservation management strategies, and ways to help protect these ocean giants. With the help and support of Mario A Escalera, a specialist in marine mammal research and Maria Laura Marcias, a marine scientist and science communicator, this course was designed to turn passionate whale watchers into empowered whale defenders. Each person that completed the course received a special edition PADI Whale Conservation Specialty certification card, and a donation was made in their honor to help fund Project AWARE’s mission.
Credit: Blue Corner Dive/Tamatind Divers
AWARE WEEK 2020
Credit: Yasser Hejazy
Divers around the globe joined forces from 19th – 27th September 2020 to protect ocean health in honor of AWARE Week 2020. The third annual weeklong event took new forms this year as divers and dive leaders participated online, in their communities, and in the water where possible. We are proud to share the results and celebrate the positive impact of AWARE Week Actions across the globe.
Credit: Aqua Marine Diving, Bali
Credit: Total Diving Montreal
Credit: Rainbow Reef Dive Center/Ocean Rays Photography
Credit: Let’s Dive
Credit: Hayley Jo Carr
Credit: Caribbean Sea Sports Curacao
IMPACT & PARTICIPATION DURING AWARE WEEK OVER 80 REGISTERED CONSERVATION ACTIONS FINS ON From taking citizen science action beneath the waves for a clean and healthy ocean...
FINS OFF ...to learning about the ocean and raising awareness about plastic pollution.
DIVE AGAINST DEBRIS® & AWARE WEEK IMPACT IN NUMBERS
pieces of debris closer to reaching #NextMillion2020
pieces of debris removed & reported since 2011
12.5k SURVEYS since 2011
THANKS TO YOU, our partners and global community!
IMPACT & PARTICIPATION DURING AWARE WEEK AND SEPTEMBER 2020
Dive Against Debris® results during AWARE Week and September 2020
TOP 3 REPORTING COUNTRIES
45 COUNTRIES TOOK PART IN AWARE WEEK 2020
Credit: Ocean Rays Photography
18% of the surveys
UK & CANADA 6.7% of the surveys
SPAIN & NETHERLAND ANTILLES 5.8% of the surveys
DON’T JUST COUNT YOUR DIVES. MAKE YOUR DIVES COUNT. LIVE EVERY WEEK LIKE IT’S AWARE WEEK!
Ocean protection depends on all of our actions, large and small. Now more than ever, individuals recognize that their local actions can and DO make a positive impact for our planet. When we come together for conservation, big change is possible. Our community were amazing financial partners to us this year, especially in light of the challenges the pandemic introduced.
2020 LIMITED EDITION PADI CARD
PADI®’s 2020 soaring Reef Manta limited edition certification card supported Project AWARE’s work throughout the year. The stunning image on the card, captured by French photographer Gabriel Barathieu, provides a glimpse into the peaceful underwater world of this majestic and highly intelligent creature. But as we know, the ocean and all marine life that call it home, are facing tremendous threat. Funds raised from this limited edition certification card are helping Project AWARE to take action to tackle the oceans most prominent dangers including pollution and overfishing. Gabriel Barathieu photographed this soaring Reef Manta in the lagoon of Mayotte, located in the Indian Ocean, between Mozambique and Madagascar. It was pronounced a winner of the renowned Nature's Best Photography Award in 2018. “In the lagoon at Mayotte, I saw the ray coming toward me shoving the sand like a fighter. It was a moment I could not miss. I went down to sit at the bottom and face the giant without moving. It passed just above me, like a plane taking off. Magnificent!” – Gabriel Barathieu Photographer
FUNDRAISERS There’s no set formula when it comes to fundraising with Project AWARE – the possibilities are as vast as the ocean. Some dance in shark costumes, some take to social media, and others take on the challenge to run marathons in full scuba gear. In 2020, 215 fundraisers came together to raise over $117,000.
MARATHONS Prospects for fundraising in 2020 looked bright after assembling the largest marathon team in Project AWARE’s history. 37 eager runners were committed to running the marathon in Chicago and 7 runners were determined to raise funds to protect our ocean through the marathon in New York City. Despite the 2020 events being cancelled the teams were able to rally over $22,600 in 2020.
LIZ PARKINSON Liz Parkinson leads the Project AWARE marathon teams as team captain and has been running both marathons which are only a month apart, back to back! She joined the Project AWARE New York City marathon team back in 2012 and has truly amazed us with her commitment and endurance. Liz has been registered to run 7 times for the New York City Marathon and has run the Chicago city marathon five years in a row, raising awareness and over $20,000 for the ocean protection cause. Her inspiring story doesn’t end there. Liz actively recruits runners onto the teams, rallying her close friends and family to join her, helping to raise so much more!
“You don't have to live or work in the ocean to help save it. Project AWARE's #TeamOcean helps us to engage with people, through marathon running and fundraising, who may not have had the opportunity before now to learn about how important ocean conservation, education and awareness are. There is no one way to help our ocean environment, and I am lucky to be part of such an inspirational group of people who enjoy the outdoors, have a competitive spirit and a passion to help. Even if it means having to take my fins off every now and again to go for a run!” - Liz Parkinson Project AWARE Fundraiser
PAYCOM EMPLOYEES MAKE A BIG SPLASH Paycom Software, Inc., a leading provider of comprehensive, cloud-based human capital management software, donated over $16,500 to Project AWARE to support shark and ray conservation, marine debris solutions, and ocean protection. The donations came as part of Paycom’s ongoing giving campaign, in which employees have the opportunity to donate to a variety of local and national causes. To coincide with one of TV’s most popular weeks, Shark Week, Paycom hosted a companywide phishing simulation challenge to increase phishing education and raise donations for Project AWARE in 2020.
RAISING FUNDS IN CELEBRATION OF ‘BIRTHWEEK’ As a PADI certified rescue diver, Soonho felt it meaningful to donate his birthday to support Project AWARE but felt that 24 hours just wasn’t enough when it comes to ocean protection and took his fundraising campaign further to celebrate his full ‘birthweek’. Soonho’s birthweek celebration began on the first day of June 2020, where he introduced the concept of birthweek fundraising to his followers and shared his passion for conservation. Then, each day until the final birthday celebration he created an Instagram post to raise awareness of an ocean conservation issue and the work of Project AWARE. Throughout the course of his fundraising campaign the topics included the importance of sharks in the ocean, pollution, debris, reef safe sunscreen, a personal story on falling in love with the ocean through scuba diving, divers protecting the ocean, World Ocean Day and of course, how donating to Project AWARE helps.
Project AWARE is grateful and touched by this thoughtful and creative celebration of the ocean. Congratulations and endless thanks to Soonho for raising $1,250 to protect our ocean!
DANCING FOR THE OCEAN
Through live streams on Twitch and YouTube, community member Katie Sikel raised more than $1,150 in 2020 for Project AWARE. Throughout the year Katie fundraised in some extraordinarily creative ways - from dancing in a shark costume to eating a spoonful of hot sauce! As a passionate ocean advocate, Katie speaks about marine conservation and raises funds through funny, quirky incentives on the internet. She even did an online fundraiser in June in celebration of World Oceans Day. Find Katie’s videos on her Twitch channel (mermaidmarine) and YouTube channel (KtMarine) to see all the amazing ways she supported ocean conservation in 2020.
$10K+ • Paycom $1,000 - $4999 • Anthony Chang • Anthony Velardocchia • Chuanji Chen • Erie Water Treatment • Holly Holden • Jojo • Katie Simpson • LadyKhaotic • Luke & Jen Wolkers • naraviatv • Robyn Lindsay • San Marcos High School • Soonho Kwon • Sydney Kurtz • The Fifth Point • Tracy Durbin • Vanessa DeShambo $500 – 999 • Anya Pavlyshak • Batavia Coast Dive • Carey Christie • Emily Cass • Josh Liebman • Katie Torigoe • Kim Stephenson • Laro_V • Lazaro Zayas • Mark McGovern • Paul Yoon • Raj Desai • Rhody Beach Promise • Rick Harkins • Rob Mackean • Save the Wave • Wakeheart LLC $250 - 499 • Alexander Kohls • Alexandra Farrar • Alison Dygert • Alli Towers • Andrea Cr
• Antoni Velardocchia • Ashley Briody • Colin Macgillivray • Craig McGuire • Curtis Snaper • Dan Yunez • Derek Doa • Elliot Peters • Gin Ng • Hannah Anderson • Jill Smith • Jodie Craighill Karigaca • Katherine Bilcliffe • Kees Edelman • Kelsi • Kyle Moorcroft • Liz Parkinson • Mike Parker • Nicola Leske • Pernilla Ekstram • Robert Hopenhajm • Ron Woodle • Santa Winefordner • Sapan Parekh • Scuba Mark • skyetheshark • SPOKO Divers • Tara Kapeles • Young-joon Milo Lee $1 - 249 • Abbey Townsend • Adrienn Haja • Aleesandra Albrecht • Alex Skegg • Alexa Perez • Alexandra Curtis • Alexis Lawrence • Amy Forstner • Andi Blenz • Anne-Sophie Chevalier • APLPlayzTTV • Aqua Dive & Watersports • ASD Pro Diving • Bethany Valentine • Brendan MacGregor • Brian Childs
• Brittany Costello • Bryce Sondag • Cara Geer • Carolyn Corley • Catarina Wagstaff • Chelsea Fogarty Followell • Cherokee Earnhardt • Cheyanne White • Chris Col • Christa Tsitirides • Chuck Tucker • Ciara Kirby-Hancock • Cierrah Anson • Constantinos Fo • Corey Peoples • Cory Giovanella • Cynthia Nico Barbuto • Daniel Porter • Danny Hecht • Dawn Brant Elliott • Dean Wade Vincent • Deb Musselman • Dominique Albert • DoobiousRex • Dylan Sutton • Edward Nester • Eleanor Richards • Eliza Hartford • Elliott Taylor • Emily Chandler • Emily Eberle • Ernst Mulder • Evan Boland • Gabby S Coonen • Georgina Robjant • Gordon Fava • Grace Jimenez • Gus Burneau • Gwen Deneen • Holly Stepney • hot_girlplays_withu • India Agar • James Sinclair • Jan-Philipp Lauer • Jason Dunphy • Jay Devlin • Jeff Ferrell
• Jen Mills • Jesse Blackard • J-Franacois ‘Jef’ de Sade • Jill Krygowski • Jim Sullivan • Jo Watkins • Joan Rodriguez • Joanna Andrews • Joey Curtis • John Kenton • Josee Frere • Jourdane Iversen • Juan Rivera • Juanita Seino • Kaelin Nicole Sauers • Katie Broadley • Katlyn Mulka • kazuo93 • Keely Volkes • Kelsi Paige • Kerry Worth • Korali Kevallos Luna • Kristin Thompson • Kristy Benard • Lauren Wiskerson • Lia Benedek Kaufman • Lily MacDonald • Lizzi Wilkerson • Loh-ra Rohs • Loretta Lush • Make Waves Clothing Company • Mandy Kay • Margot Ciccarelli • Matthew Thompson • Meagan Duncan • Megan Accaus • Melanie Hitschler • Michaela Hammer • Michelle Shayne • Mike Moore • Monica Govender • Montana State University Foundation • Natascha Bruhin • Nathalia Ricardo • Nathalie Edler Bay • Nicole Boley • Nishino Kaede • Paul O’Connell
• Prefects at Marlborough College • Rob van den Homberg • Russell Foster • Sam Ellis • Sammy Toms • Sergio Castaneda • Shirley Rogers • Silvio Cerruti • Skye Harry • Sona Klein • Sophie Lloyd • Sophie Allen • Stellar Divers • Steph Seefeldt • Stephanie Lorraine • Stephanie Rasnis • Steve Kathrein • Stormy Winters • Sumi Thaker • Surendra Varma • Sven Ivar Hunstad Tveter • Tasja Vd Merwe • The Fifth Point Diving Centre • Tina Wessollek • TJ Bittleston • Tom Freret • Tomoo Matsuno • Vanessa Cedeno • Verena Ehlers • Wildlife Collections LLC • x_saphierra_x • Yanto Jones • Yasmine Edney
100% AWARE PARTNERS Across the globe, PADI instructors and dive centers have committed to support ocean protection through the 100% AWARE partnership. By making a donation to Project AWARE on behalf of every student they certify, these partners’ ongoing contributions provide vital funds to support a clean and healthy ocean.
In 2020, 540 100% AWARE Partners raised over
100% AWARE PARTNER - BLUE VENTURES Blue Ventures, a marine conservation organisation committed to protecting marine biodiversity and rebuilding tropical fisheries with coastal communities, became a proud 100% AWARE Partner in 2020. As a 100% AWARE Partner, Blue Ventures joins a global army of ocean stewards supporting a clean and healthy ocean. The new partnership means that Blue Ventures will make a donation to Project AWARE on behalf of every volunteer that learns to dive on a Blue Ventures expedition. To further the partnership, Blue Ventures is also committed to implementing our flagship citizen-science programme Dive Against Debris across their expedition sites, namely Madagascar, Belize and Timor-Leste. As the first NGO to become a 100% AWARE Partner, we are very excited to welcome Blue Ventures to our partnership program. Together, we are taking 100% AWARE to a whole new level. With a shared hands-on approach to marine conservation, we are not only raising vital funds for global ocean protection efforts but using the power of underwater citizen science activities to leverage policy change for both people and our blue planet.
Blue Ventures’ commitment to the 100% AWARE program demonstrates to their expedition volunteers, learning to dive as part of the experience, the importance of making their scuba diving adventures count for global ocean conservation.” - Danna Moore Project AWARE Director of Global Operations
ALL 100% AWARE PARTNERS • 20,000 Leagues Scuba and Aquatics • Abyss Ocean World • Academy of Scuba • Acqua Life Dive Center • Adam Burzynski • Adam Wucherpfenning • Adrian 'Bev' Bebbington • Aegean Seals Diving Center • Ahmed Fouad • Alaa Saeed Al Masri • Alberta Adventure Divers • Alejandro Pescador • Alexander Kohls • Alexey Kozin • Alfa Diving Center • Algan Ergene • Ali Aldarbi • All4Diving Indonesia • Aloha Scuba • Alpha Divers Kuwait • Al-Razel Lagarde • Amarilla Divers • Amr Zakaria Ali • Amy Slate's Amoray Dive Resort • Andre Brasseler • Andreas Brustmann • Andrew Kikawa • Andy Stewart • Angel Rijos • Ann Speer • Anna Axelsson • Anse Chastanet Scuba St Lucia • Anthias • Anthias Divers • Anthony Morton • Anthony's Key Resort • Antonino 'Nino' Calamia • Aqua Plein Air, Inc • Aqua Safaris • Aquaexcursions Diving Centers - UTW Palladium • AquaMarine Diving - Bali • Aquamarine.MT Diving Centre • Aquatic Adventures - Rowville • Aquatic Adventures of Michigan • Aquatic Center of Rochester
• Archimède • Armando Mesen Molina • Art Fallon • Asia Dive Academy • Asian - Belgian Dive Resort • Atlantis Diving • Australian Diving Instruction Geelong • Aviva Dive & Travel • B&J Diving Centre • B&J Diving Centre • Bahia Apartments & Diving • Bali Hai Diving Adventures • Ban's Diving Resort • Barbados Blue Water • Barefoot Divers • Barefoot Scuba • Barrett S. Jackson • Bart den Ouden • Bart van den Bos • BASE Diving Centre • Beach Cities Scuba • Ben Arthur • Beqa Adventure Divers • Bernd Albert • Best Spot Azores • Bethan Comley • Big Blu Mafia Island DC • Big Blue (NY) • Big Blue (Vanuatu) • Black Beard Sports • Blue Corner Dive • Blue Corner Dive Peneida • Blue Marlin Komodo • Blue Ocean Club • Blue Planet • Blue Submarine • BLUE SUBMARINE by NAVY SEALS ASD • BLUE SUBMARINE by SCUBA WORLD ASD • Blue Ventures • Blue Water Divers • Blue World Diver e.V. • Bocas Dive Center • Boonchob Vijarnsorn • Bradley Copeland
• Brave Diver • Brian Ferguson • Brisbane Dive Academy • Bruce Hall • Bruce McPherson • Bruce Weitzenhoffer • BUBBLES Dive Centre • Buceo Marina • Buddies Dive Cove • Cai Miao • Caleb Hayes • Calypso Divers • Captain Cook Cruises Fiji • Carl Teare • Catherine Glashier • Ceningan Divers • Centro Buceo Pedreña • Centro de Buceo Pichidangui • CEYLON WATER SPORTS (PVT) LD Nilaveli Diving Centre/ Unawatuna Diving Centre • Charlene Bartlett • Charles Bosma • Charles Russell • Charly Sub Diving School • Chris Hartman • Chris Hulett • Christian St. Pierre • Christian Tamayo-Villagran • Christopher Adams • Christopher Cirillo • Christopher Southall • Christopher Willey • CJ's Reef Shack • Claudio Baccinelli • Claus Poehler • Club Subaquatique de Vernier • Cojo Diving • Constantin "Costa" Benedic • Corey Roulent • Covenas Diving Co. • Crystal Dive Resort • Crystal River Watersports • Curt Shumate • Curtis Snaper • Cyprus Underwater Explorers Ltd • Dane Durand • Daniel Anton Perez • Daniel Chan • Daniele Comin • Danilo Bellese • Darco Azarmaneche • Darrell Bird
• Darwin Bawasanta • Dave Rowbottom • David Du • David Gnadt • David Groth • David Keene • David Rintoul • David Speer • Debora Roosli • Deep Blue Divers • Deep Blue Fiji • Denzel Summer • Derek Freres • Diamond Diving • Didier Duprat • Dirk de Does • Discovery Divers • Dive Boutique Cozumel • Dive Friends Bonaire • Dive Georgia, LLC • Dive Ninja Expeditions • Dive Paradis • Dive Point Red Sea • Dive Potato • Dive Rutland • Dive Shack • Dive World Inc • Dive! Tutukaka • Divecenter Scubido • Diver City SCUBA • Divers Den • Divers Incorporated • Divers Incorporated Monroe • Divevolution • Divewise • Divine Diving • Diving Academy Scubacqua • Diving Bee Marine House • Diving King Corporation • Dominic Black • Dominic Diodato • Dominik Mikolajczyk • Donald Pollitt • Dos Tiburones Dive Shop • Douglas Honorio • Down Under Dive Shop • Dragoman Dive Center • Duikcentrum Loosdrecht • Dykcentrum Gullmarsfjorden • Eaglehawk Dive Centre • East Coast Scuba & Watersports • Eat Sleep and Dive • Eco Dive
• Eddiving • Edward Anger • Edward H Chan • Efthymios Gkantis • Eric Webster • Evan C. Long • Evolution 2 • Explore Hamilton Island • Fabrizio Angeloro • Fantasea Diving • Fenix Buceo • First Buddy Tablas • Float N' Flag Sport & Dive Inc • Florida Sea Base • Florida Underwater Sports • Fouad Al Hakami • Four Seasons Kuda Huraa • Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru • Frank Baquero • Frank Lafleur • Frank Van Klaveren • Fu Chun • Fun Dive Club • Gangga Divers Bali • Garden Island Resort • Gary Phillips • Gary Sanderson, Jr. • Gasper Otorepec • Gatwick Scuba • Geoffrey Creighton • Geoffrey Skeats • Glyn Jenkins - DiveClub Northern Ireland • Go2Similan • Great Adventures Bonaire • Gregory Molendyk • Gregory Sparkman • Guillaume Lacome • Gustavo Suarez • Gwennaël Perrin • Hans-Joachim Meyer • Hassan Khayal • Helena Scuba • Hervey Bay Dive Centre • Hirokazu Tatebe • Hi-Tide Divers • Hsun-Wei Huang • Hussain Ahmed Al-Abbas • Hyeonsu Pyo • Ian Edge • Ian Riley • Ignacio V. Lembeye • IK Diving
• Ilaria Laterza • Imad Khashfeh • Indus Scuba • Infinity2diving • Iron Sub • Ismael Samooh • Ismael Schlack • Issam Kanafani • Ivan Chin Hing Foong • Jack's Diving Locker • Jacob Childs • James Chandler • James Maroney • James McKay • Jan Sturre (Delta Phi Diving) • Jason R. Keeffer/Kona Honu Divers • Jason Sikat • Jay Brewer • Jay Elson • Jean Michel Cousteau's Caribbean • Jennifer Cumming • Jenny Hillman • Jetty Dive Centre • Jill Heinerth • John Brett • John G. Gransbury • Jomtien Dive Center • Jon A. Rusho • Jon Doughty • Jon Jon Suarez • Jonas Dahringer • Jordan L. McGonigle • Jose David "Balky" Balcazar Melgar • Jose Luis Saenz • Josep Lluis Massuet Casals • Joshua Cohen • Joshua V. Dykman • JR Dive • Julien van Loenen • Justin Newton • Kai Lin Liew • Kai Steinbeck • Kappi Divers • Karina Sprechler Petersen • Karma Dives • Kelvin L. Dale • Kenneth Johnson • Key Dives • Kholousi Khayal • Kirill Popov • Kohala Divers • Kosrae Village Ecolodge • Kristina Soderquist
ALL 100% AWARE PARTNERS • Kuwait Diving Team / Science Club • Lahaina Divers • Lanzarote Non Stop Divers • L'Aquila DC • Latitud Scuba • Laura Lomazzi • Leobardo Morales Cervantes • Li Zhu • Liang Chen • Liquid Dive Adventures • Liquid Dive Dumaguete • Lisa D. Krygsveld • Live & Let Dive • Lloyd Jones • Lofoten Diving • London Diving Centre • London Scuba Centre • Louise Kraechter • Lucja Rice • Luke Ashford-Hodges • Made in Blue • Mahdi Andijani • MaiDiving • Marco Giovannini • Marco Lusa • Mark Mack • Mark McNamara • Mark Wolff • Marlin Divers Pte. Ltd • Marlon Espina • Mars Scuba • Martin Green - at Pure Dive • Martin L. Kelly • Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Resort • Matt Clements • Matt Dempsey • Maui Dreams Dive Co. • Maui-Diving • Mauro Sacchi • Max Gallino • Mega Diving B.V. (Mega Divers) • Michael C Hayes • Michael Hughes • Michael Hughes • Michele Cavati • Micronesia Divers Assoc
• Micronesia Eco Divers • Min Hyeok Kim • Moh Boon Leng • Mohamad H Buhamadi • Monther Jamal • Muhamad Bin Abdullah • Mu-Han Chang • Nautilus Dive Center • Nemo Viva • Neren Diving Komodo • Nicolas Laatsch • Noel Hansen (The Dive Place) • Nuno Veloso Azevedo • OBI BLU • Oca Divers • Ocean Planet Diving Center • Ocean Pro Divers • Oceans Unlimited Costa Rica • Ohana Dive Co. • Oliver Payne • Ollie Powell • One&Only Reethi Rah Dive Centre • Ozan Atabilen • Pacific Freediving • Palau Ocean Divers • Paolo Cardani • Paradise Divers • Paradise Divers • Parker Johnson • Pascal van der Lei • Passions of Paradise • Patrick Scott • Patriot Dive Center • Patriot Scuba • Paul Hummel (Southwestern Oklahoma SCUBA Club) • Penny Nelsen • Perth Scuba • Peter Bickerton • Petreos Divers • Pierre Brits • Pilbara Dive Tours • Pissouri Bay Divers • Planet Ocean • Planet Scuba India • Plataran Dive
• Po Hsiung Huang • pp02 Mergulhos • Pura Vida Divers • Pure Dive Resort • Purple Dive Penida • Qi Palawan • Quintin Hill • Rachel Watts • Rafael Arocha Garcia • Rainbow Reef Divers • Rec2Tec Diving • Red Alert Diving • Reef Scuba Ltd • Remco Van 't Hooft • Renee Tapsell • Restuning Sandini • Rich Karren • Rick Miramontez • Roatan Dive Center • Roatan Divers • Roatan Divers Sandy Bay • Robert Hodgkiss • Robert M. McDowell • Robert Soncini • Robin Kendrick-Yates • Rodrigo Pena Anza • Roger Chan Ming Chau • Ronald Boice • Rupert Mayer • Russell Hosp • Ryan Anderson • SA Scuba Shack • Sabine Henkel • Sacha Williamson • Sail Caribbean Divers • Sailing Club Divers • Sairee Cottage Diving • Sally Denton • Sami Alhaj • Saralyn Borg • Sascha Engeler • Scott G Taylor • Scott Roberts • Scott Tilley • Scuba 6 Eco Diving • Scuba Adventures - Pakistan • Scuba Center Asia • Scuba Courses • Scuba Dive CRI • Scuba Dream • Scuba IQ • Scuba Junkie • Scuba Leeds
• Scuba Monkey • Scuba Shack Diving Services • Scuba Symphony • Scubalino • Scubatec • Scubatude • Sea 2 Sea Scuba • Sea Divers • Sea I see Dive Center • Sea Sky Jeju • Seals Diving Center • Sean Flynn • Seattle Dive Tours • Seattle Scuba School • Seong Hwan Yoo • SGS Tauchen • Shamaa Hadeem • Shan Hai Jin Dive • Shana Kent • Shan-Chen Yu • Shannon Montalvo • Shaun Soenen • Sheesa Beach Dive Centre • Shellie Hernandez • Shiu Ming Chan • Side Azura • Simon Lau • Sin City SCUBA • Southern Maryland Divers • Stanislav Yurchenko • Stellar Divers • Stephen Lyon • Stephen Watkinson • Steve Mays • Steven Brown • Steven Jack Power • Steven Scwankert • Sub Aqua Tech • Subnauta • Sugar Land Dive Center • Summer Dive Centre • Sunchaser Scuba, Ltd • Sweet Bottom Dive Center • Tairua Dive & Marine • Taiwan Dive Center • Take's Skinscuba • Tauch Aktiv • Tech Dive Academy • Terry Wilkins • Thalassa Dive Resort • The Dive Bus • The Dive Shack • The Dive Shop
• The Dive Spot @ Lytle Shores • The Fifth Point Diving Centre • The Maryland Scuba Center • The Reef Marina • The Ski & Scuba Connection • Thomas Koch (Aqua Hands) • Thomas Nielsen • Three Diving Club • Tim Ness • Timothy Attis • Timothy Ramseyer • Timothy Riley • Tinos DC - The Dive Center • Tito Oliveras • Tokoriki Diving • Trevor Bowden • Tri-City Scuba Centre • Turismo Curu • Tyler Hammel • Ulf Jakobsson • Unawatuna Diving Centre • University of Malta Diving Resource Centre • University of Malta Diving Resource Centre • Utila Dive Center • Utila Lodge • Velaa Private Island Dive Center • Viewpoint North Diving • Villa College Maldives • VIP Diving • Viti Water Sports - Nadi • Vivian Dive Centre • Vivien Siaw Lee Jing • Vladimir Akimov • YSS Dive • Waiheke Dive and Snorkel • Waikawa Dive Centre • Wavecrest Scuba • Wenkai Yang • West Side Scuba • Whalesark Enterprise • White Star Quarry • Wilfred Bindervoet • William Brown • William Nash • William Stevenson • XTC Dive Center • Xu Xin • Yawen Fang • Yvan Rouxel
PADI® The Professional Association of Diving Instructors, the world’s largest scuba diver training organization, established Project AWARE in 1989 as an initiative to increase environmental awareness through diver education. Today, Project AWARE is a separate nonprofit organization and global movement that raises its own funds and drives its own mission and goals. PADI supports Project AWARE with in-kind services, connects us with a network of divers and professionals around the world, and helps us raise donations through its processes. PADI Professional Members Our partnership with PADI Professional Members around the world is essential in powering global conservation activities and programs. PADI Pros teach, lead, and engage in local conservation. Project AWARE would not be able to achieve our goals and mission without their support. PADI® Japan padi.co.jp
Kraken Rum krakenrum.com
Bear Grylls Ventures beargrylls.com
LUMINOX & BEAR GRYLLS VENTURES
Luminox, the original self-powered luminous watch brand, is the watch of choice for global outdoor adventure icon Bear Grylls, U.S. Navy SEALs, The Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue (ICE-SAR), Lockheed Martin’s F-117 NighthawkTM stealth and other jet fighter pilots, elite forces worldwide and professional divers. Luminox watches glow up to 25 years in any light condition. Always Visible, tough, powerful and accurate, Swiss-Made Luminox is the ultimate night vision gear for rugged outdoorsmen and other peak performers.
Brought together by a shared mantra “Never Give Up”, Bear Grylls Ventures, Luminox, #tide and Project AWARE are combining their passion and expertise to raise awareness about the global ocean plastic crisis and highlight the urgent need for a circular economy approach to plastic waste. Not only does this new watch use 100% recycled ocean-bound plastics, money from the sale of each watch also helps fund efforts in marine conservation. A portion of the retail price from each sale will be donated directly to Project AWARE to empower scuba divers and ocean adventurers around the globe, through citizen science action, to protect underwater environments from the onslaught of marine debris.
Named after the legendary Beast, Kraken Rum’s partnership with Project AWARE allow rum connoisseurs and fans of the Kraken Black Spiced Rum brand to not only immerse themselves into the mythical sea story of the Kraken but to connect with the challenges and threats that the ocean and its inhabitants are facing. Partnerships like these, along with a groundswell of community support, are two critical ingredients necessary to drive change. Kraken Rum has a rich history of supporting marine life, so we’re proud to join forces to raise funds and awareness for the plight of our ocean and its wildlife. Kraken Black Spiced Rum have teamed up with champion freediver Beci Ryan, who was tasked with diving down and retrieving the limited-edition bottles for customers from the prized underwater stash, which dwells in the depths of the National Diving and Activity Centre (NDAC) at Chepstow in the United Kingdom. From every sale of the new limited edition bottle, funds will be donated to Project AWARE.
2020 DONORS Despite the unforeseen challenges the world faced as a result of the pandemic, we’re proud of what we achieved in 2020 and look forward to our next wave of ocean protection. We’re committed to achieving local and global impact for a clean and healthy ocean in 2021 and beyond!
$50,000+ • PADI $20,000 - $49,999 • Luminox • McBeth Foundationh • Rumah Foundation • The Estate of Kathleen Patricia Trasler $10,000 - $19,999 • Felsten Fishman Foundation • Paycom $5,000 - $9,999 • 4ocean • Clif Bar Family Foundation • Mellam Family Foundation • Strauss Family Foundation • Wyatt Wisnosky $1,000 - $4,999 • Albert Vor Keller • Brad Bishop • Brian Anderson • Carsten Beith • Charles Garnsworthy • Colina Foundation • Daniel Roozen • Dawn Carmichael • Deupree Family Foundation • Drew Richardson • Erie Water Treatment • Foundation for Sustainability and Innovation • Franklin Philanthropic • Henrik Nimb • Himanshu Behl • Ike Barbatsoulis • Jillian Greifenkamp • John Platts
• Kimberly Randal • Lorraine Butzke • Michelle Burnett • Naomi Tucker • Ocean Grants • Philip Carroll • Rachel Nakamura • Rob Krzak • Robert Treverton • Samuel Jakob • Scott Goldstein • Shannon Bownds • Soonho Kwon • Stop&Stor • Takimoto Yohei • The Fifth Point Diving Centre • The Schoon Family Fund • Tisa Moore • Wadycki Family Charitable Fund • Wai Keung Hon • Wall Family Foundation $500 - $999 • Albert Vandermerwe • Alison Needham • Amanda Shelly • Anna Ingrid Leven • Axel Azcue • Berry Van Veldhoven • Brian McLaughlin • Caplin Foundation • Carsten Beith • Chris Riker • Christine Naylor • Daniel Kice • David Shane • David Stoll • Effy Liu • Erica Alvendia • Fabien Darioli
• Findlay Park Partners LLP • Garth Swanson • Golden Age Spirits • Hargroves Family Foundation • Jack & Debra Knutzen • James Schroeder • James Taylor • Jeffrey Hill • Jenni Ward • Jim Szczurek • John Vanier • Joseph Schmiedl • Joshua Adams • Julianne Pangal • Kaitlin James • Kelly Zanzarella • Kevin Gould • Kim Carpenter • Laura Cooke • Laurie Britten • Linda Hartig • Lori Oblinger • Matthew Clark • Paul Takats • Sigrid Jacobsen • Splash Water Sports, Inc. • Susan Hill • Suzanne Siteman Gift Fund • The David & Catherine Loevner Family Fund • The Jacobsens • Todd King • Trevor Lindars • Tristan Coombes • Yurie Namiki
WAYS TO GIVE We’re fighting for ocean protection every day. By fundraising, donating, taking action and making informed choices, you partner with an unprecedented global movement of ocean advocates securing vital protections for our ocean planet. We can’t do it without you.
GIVE TODAY Cash gifts, whether made online, via check, or through PayPal are immediate and simple and can be tax deductible where allowed. A monthly gift to the ocean is a remarkable commitment. By becoming a monthly donor, you join a growing group of dedicated supporters from around the world who provide a reliable and essential line of defense for marine wildlife.
SHOP THROUGH AMAZON SMILE Shopping through AmazonSmile is one of the simplest ways for you to support Project AWARE every time you shop, at no cost to you. You’ll find the exact same items and prices with the added bonus that Amazon donates a very small portion of the purchase price to Project AWARE (US & UK only at this time).
WORKPLACE GIVING Donating to Project AWARE can be a simple action through your workplace and Project AWARE is recognized by numerous programs like Benevity, Bright Funds, Good to Give, CAF, and the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). Ask your employer about donating to Project AWARE through workplace giving and in particular if they provide a match. Usually they will match your gift one for one, or perhaps even higher!
DEDICATIONS & MEMORIALS
Do you have a Donor-Advised Fund? If so, please consider making use of this giving vehicle to support Project AWARE. You’ve already made a tax deductible contribution, we invite you to invest it in our ocean future.
Honor your friend’s wedding, anniversary, or birthday with a gift for our ocean. Recognizing a loved one’s achievements of memory with a memorial gift can be a meaningful and appreciated contribution.
LEAVE A LEGACY
Within the US, a free and convenient service for converting that extra car, truck, boat, or RV into a tax deductible donation benefiting Project AWARE is available. You can donate online or call 877-999-8322 to make your donation.
Did you know you can invest in conservation with Project AWARE for years to come? Through gift and estate planning you can meet your financial goals and maximize your philanthropic giving. Contact your legal or financial advisor directly or learn more about how to start establishing your legacy for our ocean by visiting projectaware. org/legacy and joining our Legacy Society.
FUNDRAISE FOR OCEAN PROTECTION Rally your friends and family around the cause - start your fundraising action today. Set a physical challenge, push your limits, or even celebrate and donate your birthday. A variety of popular platforms are available like JustGiving and Facebook to help maximize your fundraising campaign. Your action can have a great impact for our ocean.
SECURITIES Project AWARE can accept publicly traded securities. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
BOARD OF WAYS TO GIVE DIRECTORS AMERICAS
EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
Dr. Drew Richardson, Chairman Kristin Valette, Secretary/Treasurer Jenny Miller Garmendia Dr. Deborah Brosnan Jeff Nadler
Mark Caney, Chairman Suzanne Smith, Secretary/Treasurer Dr. Drew Richardson Kristin Valette
ASIA PACIFIC Henrik Nimb, Chairman Matthew Hill, Secretary/Treasurer Dr. Drew Richardson Kristin Valette Jenny Miller Garmendia
PROJECT AWARE STAFF* Director, Global Operations Danna Moore
Associate Director, Policy & Campaigns Ian Campbell
Global Development Manager Lauren Wiskerson, CFRE
Operations Manager Kian Clineff
Community Conservation Officer Jack Fishman
Community Coordinator Peta Day
Communications & Translations Coordinator Stefania Di Dio
Operations Coordinator, Americas Juanita Seino
Operations Coordinator, Asia Pacific Ian Amos
*At time of printing
OUR OFFICES United Kingdom The Pavilions Bridgwater Road Bristol BS13 8AE United Kingdom +44 117-300-7313
United States 30151 Tomas, Suite 200 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 +1 949-858-7657
Australia L4 120 Old Pittwater Road Brookvale, NSW, 2100 Australia + 61 2-9454-2890
PADI® Japan Volunteer Office +81 3-5721-1731
At Project AWARE we recognize that large-scale positive transformation starts with each and every one of us acting locally for global impact. This is why, to work towards a future where the ocean no longer needs protecting, we prioritize addressing the greatest threats facing the ocean through the lens of community action. With a long-running history of working with scuba divers to tackle pressing environmental issues, we have a unique underwater perspective of the decline in ocean health. In 2020, COVID-19 has shown how human health is intimately connected with our relationship to the natural world. As we embark on a new year, we have an opportunity to strengthen our mission and vision to achieve a balance between nature and humanity. 2021 marks the beginning of what the United Nations hopes will be a pivotal decade for the global ocean. Together with our global community, we are uniquely positioned to support the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science and Decade of Ecosystem Restoration to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health by 2030.
The ocean challenges in front of us require an all hands on deck approach. Divers can play an important role as citizen scientists because they have the passion, drive, and skillset to document what remains for the larger public out of sight, out of mind. Whether divers report rare shark sightings, monitor coral reefs' health, or submit marine debris data, every piece of information, every survey submitted is a key part of helping sustainably manage the world’s marine ecosystems. Together with PADI, we recognize and harness the power of the global dive community to influence and create change. Although we find ourselves in a time where the ocean and indeed the planet has never been under so much threat, together we are making a difference. Thank you for your continuous commitment to driving change and protection for the ocean. Thank you for keeping the ocean close to your heart during this challenging year. Special thanks to the Project AWARE volunteers who have donated their photos, time, and hard work in support of ocean protection.
WHERE CONSERVATION MEETS SM ADVENTURE