Following on from the success of the Project AWARE Week last year, the dates for the 2019 Project AWARE Week are 14th – 22nd September 2019. This week represents a fantastic opportunity for dive centres, clubs and individual members to bring together their divers and take action to promote awareness of issues surrounding ocean health.
• Use Project AWARE week to bring together the divers you have trained so far in 2019. This gives them a great opportunity to work as part of the diving community whilst learning about how we can help create awareness of our ocean health.
• Consider running the Project AWARE Dive Against Debris course in a few different locations. This way divers can see for themselves the challenges which are faced in the rising tide of trash which ends up in the oceans. You might also wish to consider opportunities for non-divers, such as beach or river bank clean-ups.
• The revised Project AWARE specialty was launched for the 2018 Project AWARE week, with a great reception. There is no minimum age for this course, which makes it a great tool to use when reaching out to schools and communities.
• Promote the events to your PADI Open Water referrals from 2019. Whilst they may have completed their open water dives in a different country, this is a great way to show them how welcoming the UK diving community is. They may also be interested in completing the Project AWARE Dive Against Debris at this time as well as September generally boasts some of the warmest water temperatures.
• Consider the marketing and social media opportunities which you could embrace as part of this week. Running beach clean-ups and Dive Against Debris dives are the sort of events which can attract great publicity whilst also benefitting the dive site or beach and the local community.
• For every dive trip you plan, arrange for one day to look at the ocean conservation issues local to your trip destination. In some destinations, you may find that there are coral conservation schemes, or research organisations working to protect certain species.
• Encourage your divers to complete the Dive Against Debris Adventure Dive during their Advanced Open Water course.
Of course, your ocean awareness activities don’t need to be restricted to one week. There are plenty of ways you can continually promote conservation and awareness efforts throughout the year.