Celebrate 50 Years of PADI & Our Shared Passion for the Ocean

PADI Limited Edition cards 50-Year Anniversary Project AWARESince Project AWARE started in 1992 as a marine conservation nonprofit organisation, many PADI divers have shown their support for ocean protection when completing a PADI training course by making a small donation to receive the Project AWARE version of their PADI certification card.

In 2016, as PADI celebrates its 50th Anniversary and long-term commitment to teaching divers the importance of protecting fragile aquatic ecosystems, you can join in the celebrations by taking action with Project AWARE, PADI’s preferred environmental partner. We are prouder of what Project AWARE has achieved thanks to the support of its growing movement of divers protecting the ocean one dive at a time.

  • Celebrate 50 Years of PADI and show off your support for ocean protection, visit www.padi.com to request a replacement card and encourage your student divers to choose the Project AWARE Limited Edition PADI cards.
  • Show off your support on Twitter and Instagram: Share the Project AWARE version of your PADI card with the hashtags #MyPADI #MyOcean

2016 CardsAlso available in 2016 is a special Project AWARE limited edition PADI Freediver card only available if you complete a PADI Freediver™ Course and the Project AWARE Manta Ray PADI card. All card choices are subject to stock availability.

Whale and Manta photos courtesy of David Valencia

You Make It Possible

Thanks to your support, Project AWARE had a successful year in 2015 and is looking forward to 2016! Here’s what they’ve accomplished together with divers and dive leaders over the last year.

Check out the infographic below to see your support in 2015 in action!

Project AWARE Year in Review

Watch and share the Project AWARE’s Year in Review 2015 video on your website, e-newsletter and social media sites.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year from the Project AWARE team!

Project AWARE Success at DEMA 2015

Dive Against Debris Workshops DEMA 2015The annual DEMA Show put on by the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association is more than just a scuba diving trade show – it’s the dive industry’s event of the year.

With diving equipment manufacturers, training and certification organizations, apparel producers, travel companies and philanthropies from across the globe in attendance, it’s a chance for all members of the dive industry to connect, collaborate and innovate.

Project AWARE has been honored to attend the DEMA show alongside PADI with great success in past years, and this year was no exception.

As we’re just now catching our breath after a whirlwind week of travel, meetings and Dive Against Debris training workshops, we’d like to take a moment to say, THANK YOU!

Thank you to all of our supporters – dive centers, scuba instructors, ocean enthusiasts and marine conservation advocates – you helped make our presence at the 2015 DEMA show an incredible success.

Not only did we enjoy meeting many new members of our dive community in the Project AWARE booth, we were absolutely blown away by the attendance at our first-ever Dive Against Debris training workshops. Close to 200 of you attended! You asked pertinent data-reporting questions and worked together to find solutions. You listened intently and learned techniques and best practices for reporting more frequent, more accurate Dive Against Debris data. We shared our Dive Against Debris action kits with you so that you now have not only the knowledge, but also the tools to get the work done. We’re grateful to have shared that experience with you, and cannot wait to see your Dive Against Debris efforts expand in the coming year. You are our newest Dive Against Debris ambassadors.

Our community of empowered citizen scientists is growing, and now more than ever, we’re positively impacting our ocean environments through Dive Against Debris. Thank you to our dedicated community that makes this possible.

Activate your inner citizen scientist! Participate in Dive Against Debris today and join the growing number of Dive Against Debris Instructors.

Dive Against Debris: 100% AWARE Partner in Jeddah Takes Action

Alaa Al Masri 5 16.10.15On 16th October 2015, Alaa Al Masri, Project AWARE 100% AWARE Partner, joined by more than 30 dive volunteers, completed a Dive Against Debris survey in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The team removed 500 kg of trash #BeneathTheWaves and reported their underwater data to add to Project AWARE’s global effort to show the true extent of the marine debris crisis. The team of committed Dive Against Debris volunteers also conducted a beach club at Shams Resort to engage the local community and further raise awareness. On the very same day, Alaa Al Masri took on another challenge: raising funds for his favorite charity by taking part in a Finathon and setting up his own My Ocean Challenge raising over $500 to protect sharks and the ocean. Check out Alaa My Ocean blog post and gallery to see all the photos from these wonderful actions.

Visit projectaware.org to find out how you can join the 100% AWARE partnership and conduct regular Dive Against Debris surveys.

Project AWARE: Renew Your Support for the Ocean

ReMember to RenewThe diving community and PADI Professional Members in particular are playing a critical role in making significant strides forward in ocean protection.

Project AWARE, PADI’s environmental charity partner, is dedicated to providing PADI Pros with the tools and resources to join in campaigns and activities that contribute to advancing the health of the ocean for future generations.

Your gift* and renewed commitment to ocean protection with your PADI Member Renewal helps Project AWARE achieve conservation successes to secure a brighter future for shark and ray population and protect marine life from the onslaught of marine debris.

FACT: Your support enables Project AWARE to secure important policy advancements to keep shark and ray populations healthy.

FACT: Entanglement in marine debris threatens humpback whales and many other marine animals. More than 1,500 entangled sea creatures have been reported through Dive Against Debris since 2011.

AWARE Card InstructorWant the New Project AWARE card now? Renew your support for the ocean by choosing the new Project AWARE version of your PADI Membership card and donate* with your PADI renewal today!

Thank you for renewing your support for the ocean with your PADI Member Renewal.

Contact PADI EMEA for more information or visit www.projectaware.org

* Gifts of €15/£15/CHF20 or more receive a new limited edition Project AWARE Humpack Whale mask strap pad as a special thank you for your renewed support.

Mask Strap

Show your Dedication to Ocean Protection – Become a 100% AWARE Partner

100% AWARE - BalkySub SpainAre you an instructor or dive center who takes ocean protection to heart? We all want to keep our undersea world clean and healthy – not just for ourselves, but for the dive community, now and for future generations to come. If conservation is important to you and your business, consider becoming 100% AWARE.

Across the globe, PADI instructors and dive centers are committing to ocean protection through 100% AWARE partnerships. 100% AWARE partners support a healthy and abundant ocean by making a donation to Project AWARE on behalf of each student that they certify through PADI PIC Online.* 100% AWARE partners’ ongoing contributions make a difference by providing vital funds to support Project AWARE’s two core areas of focus: marine debris prevention and shark and ray protection.

2015 Project AWARE card choicesBest of all students certified through a 100% AWARE partner will receive the Project AWARE version of their PADI certification card, so that they can proudly display their support and remember their positive experience with you! Divers value practices that protect the ocean and want to dive with instructors and dive centers that share their values – show them that you care!

Ready to get started? Follow these easy steps to become a 100% AWARE Partner:

1) Get started by submitting your 100% AWARE partner agreement. Individual instructors and dive centers may apply. You have the option to donate $10 per certification card, or a flat donation of $250 per month.
2) Log into POL using the PADI member number on your 100% AWARE agreement and select your choice of preferred certification card.
3) That’s it! All your certifications will be automatically issued as AWARE cards without making a donation to process.

It’s easy to get started! Effortlessly support ocean protection with every certification – the benefits are endless! If you need any help along the way, Project AWARE is here to help. Simply contact the Project AWARE Team or click here to learn more.

*With the exception of EFR, Seal Team and Tec Rec.

Women’s Dive Day – Interviews with Leading Women in Diving – Suzanne Smith

padi-womens-scuba-dive-day-2015-1024x316PADI is proud to present the inaugural PADI Women’s Dive Day on 18 July 2015, a special day to get women together, in the water and involved in diving. With numerous events being hosted around the world, the goal is to get as many women as possible, at every level, diving on the same day in order to build awareness and interest for the sport. PADI Regional Manager Jonas Samuelsson decided to interview leading women in the dive industry during the month leading up to the Women’s Dive Day.

The final interview in the series ‘Women’s Dive Day – Interviews with Leading Women in Diving’ is with Suzanne Smith, a true champion in the dive industry and Director of Training at PADI EMEA, PADI Instructor Examiner and Vice Chair of Project AWARE Foundation International.

Suzanne started her successful career as a scientific diver and then moved on to become an active PADI Course Director which lead to a job at PADI in 1994. In my job as PADI Regional Manager I have daily contact with Suzanne and her team at the Training Department and each time they demonstrate what an extraordinaire support they provide all PADI Members in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

It’s been a true honor to be part of this interview series. The legends I have interviewed the last weeks are all truly inspiring. I would like to thank you for taking the time in your busy schedules. You are a true inspiration for all divers and non-divers around the world. Henry Ford once said “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”. The women I interviewed the last few weeks have no doubt that they can.

I wish you a great Women’s Dive Day.

suzanne egypt 2When and how did you get involved in diving?

I started out as a scientific diver, through necessity rather than any eureka moment.  I learned to dive in 1986 in Canada, actually in a glacial run off lake near Jasper, with Ocean Sports in Edmonton. I was studying Geology at the University of Alberta at the time and needed a diving licence for my field studies in the Cayman Islands.  Before then I don’t think I had even thought about scuba diving even though I loved the water; I don’t recall there being much opportunity in England in those days, or not that came across my path.

I completed my studies and started working in the oil industry in London.  I secured contract jobs and in between contracts, I took time out to go diving.  I headed out to Australia and worked my way through my diving credentials until I could work as a Divemaster on the Great Barrier Reef.  I returned to my well paid contract work – just to save up again to head back out to Australia to do some more diving and became an instructor in 1991.  Well I loved it and was completely hooked.  From Australia, via some cash injection from more oil industry work.  I headed to Dahab, Egypt to teach more diving.  By late 1994, I had secured a job at PADI back in Bristol and am still here.

Aquanaute_1990_NIC_Current position in diving?

I am now Director of Training at PADI EMEA Ltd.  I’m also a PADI Instructor Examiner and Vice Chair of Project AWARE Foundation International.  I hope I represent one aspect of what women can achieve in the diving industry, and that it truly is a sport (and career) for anyone.

What you find the most exciting about diving?

As divers, we are so privileged to be able to interact with the underwater world first hand.  Photos and videos are wonderful and open access to everyone, but nothing beats the feel of the ocean around you, the unexpectness of what every dive brings and the pure thrill of breathing underwater. I find it both exhilarating and calming at the same time.

Tips to someone who is thinking about a career in diving?

From being a dive instructor I chose the path with a diver training organisation where I could use my skills in education, business and project management, and build a career for myself.  My advice – do what you love, work hard and be passionate about what you do, and the rest will follow.

_6191715Favourite part of working in diving?

Working with such an array of talented people, from different countries and cultures, with a shared dedication to our work. Everything we strive to do is to make the wonders of diving available to more people, to keep the dive industry vibrant and sustainable so that it supports other people’s careers and try to be advocates for underwater life.  Not many people can say that about their working day.

Any dream dive you aspire to?

I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to dive in some of the most fantastic places in the world.  As a geologist, my dream dive would be Silfra in Iceland along the spreading ridge.  Within my grasp, but just haven’t made it yet.

What would your next diving course be?

Actually, am learning to Free dive this summer – have never taken a formal course in this so it will be lovely to be a student from scratch again.

Attributes that makes someone more successful in the diving industry?

A positive attitude, willingness to try new things, ability to multi-task and lots of patience.

JHM_8495Best moment in diving?

Crikey, that’s a hard one. Diving in Sipadan, with my friends and colleagues, at dusk when the day boats have left, and before WiFi.

What is the next step in your career?

Every day I learn something new and do something different. I love what I’m doing and have the best job in the world – why would I do something else?

Thank you so much for taking the time by sharing experiences from your amazing career in diving. It’s been truly inspiring. See you in Bristol in a couple of weeks. 

Thank you and see you soon in Bristol.

 

Women’s Dive Day – Interviews with Leading Women in Diving – Suzanne Smith

padi-womens-scuba-dive-day-2015-1024x316PADI is proud to present the inaugural PADI Women’s Dive Day on 18 July 2015, a special day to get women together, in the water and involved in diving. With numerous events being hosted around the world, the goal is to get as many women as possible, at every level, diving on the same day in order to build awareness and interest for the sport. PADI Regional Manager Jonas Samuelsson decided to interview leading women in the dive industry during the month leading up to the Women’s Dive Day.

The final interview in the series ‘Women’s Dive Day – Interviews with Leading Women in Diving’ is with Suzanne Smith, a true champion in the dive industry and Director of Training at PADI EMEA, PADI Instructor Examiner and Vice Chair of Project AWARE Foundation International.

Suzanne started her successful career as a scientific diver and then moved on to become an active PADI Course Director which lead to a job at PADI in 1994. In my job as PADI Regional Manager I have daily contact with Suzanne and her team at the Training Department and each time they demonstrate what an extraordinaire support they provide all PADI Members in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

It’s been a true honor to be part of this interview series. The legends I have interviewed the last weeks are all truly inspiring. I would like to thank you for taking the time in your busy schedules. You are a true inspiration for all divers and non-divers around the world. Henry Ford once said “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”. The women I interviewed the last few weeks have no doubt that they can.

I wish you a great Women’s Dive Day.

suzanne egypt 2When and how did you get involved in diving?

I started out as a scientific diver, through necessity rather than any eureka moment.  I learned to dive in 1986 in Canada, actually in a glacial run off lake near Jasper, with Ocean Sports in Edmonton. I was studying Geology at the University of Alberta at the time and needed a diving licence for my field studies in the Cayman Islands.  Before then I don’t think I had even thought about scuba diving even though I loved the water; I don’t recall there being much opportunity in England in those days, or not that came across my path.

I completed my studies and started working in the oil industry in London.  I secured contract jobs and in between contracts, I took time out to go diving.  I headed out to Australia and worked my way through my diving credentials until I could work as a Divemaster on the Great Barrier Reef.  I returned to my well paid contract work – just to save up again to head back out to Australia to do some more diving and became an instructor in 1991.  Well I loved it and was completely hooked.  From Australia, via some cash injection from more oil industry work.  I headed to Dahab, Egypt to teach more diving.  By late 1994, I had secured a job at PADI back in Bristol and am still here.

Aquanaute_1990_NIC_Current position in diving?

I am now Director of Training at PADI EMEA Ltd.  I’m also a PADI Instructor Examiner and Vice Chair of Project AWARE Foundation International.  I hope I represent one aspect of what women can achieve in the diving industry, and that it truly is a sport (and career) for anyone.

What you find the most exciting about diving?

As divers, we are so privileged to be able to interact with the underwater world first hand.  Photos and videos are wonderful and open access to everyone, but nothing beats the feel of the ocean around you, the unexpectness of what every dive brings and the pure thrill of breathing underwater. I find it both exhilarating and calming at the same time.

Tips to someone who is thinking about a career in diving?

From being a dive instructor I chose the path with a diver training organisation where I could use my skills in education, business and project management, and build a career for myself.  My advice – do what you love, work hard and be passionate about what you do, and the rest will follow.

_6191715Favourite part of working in diving?

Working with such an array of talented people, from different countries and cultures, with a shared dedication to our work. Everything we strive to do is to make the wonders of diving available to more people, to keep the dive industry vibrant and sustainable so that it supports other people’s careers and try to be advocates for underwater life.  Not many people can say that about their working day.

Any dream dive you aspire to?

I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to dive in some of the most fantastic places in the world.  As a geologist, my dream dive would be Silfra in Iceland along the spreading ridge.  Within my grasp, but just haven’t made it yet.

What would your next diving course be?

Actually, am learning to Free dive this summer – have never taken a formal course in this so it will be lovely to be a student from scratch again.

Attributes that makes someone more successful in the diving industry?

A positive attitude, willingness to try new things, ability to multi-task and lots of patience.

JHM_8495Best moment in diving?

Crikey, that’s a hard one. Diving in Sipadan, with my friends and colleagues, at dusk when the day boats have left, and before WiFi.

What is the next step in your career?

Every day I learn something new and do something different. I love what I’m doing and have the best job in the world – why would I do something else?

Thank you so much for taking the time by sharing experiences from your amazing career in diving. It’s been truly inspiring. See you in Bristol in a couple of weeks. 

Thank you and see you soon in Bristol.

 

Nemo’s Garden

558920_10151537954770660_262920499_nAccording to many scientist our food supply might be one of the largest challenges in the future. Our planet consist of 70% water. What if you could utilize some of that space to grow plants in a responsible, small-footprint way underwater? Designed responsibly this could perhaps be an alternative solution to our destructive agriculture taken place on land.

 

 

The project started three years ago when Sergio Gamberini, owner of OceanReef Group, had an idea to utilize the properties of large bodies of water with constant temperature, united with the natural evaporation of a surface of liquid in contact with an air space – to try creating an underwater greenhouse.

935417_490073787726877_2012357682_nI was lucky to be part of a team working on the configuration of the OceanReef T-Diver Integrated Diving Mask, a technical full face mask with communication systems. During that time i meet with the designers of Nemo’s Garden, who was working in the same facilities, south of Genoa, Italy. I had a chance to dive the area where the biosphere’s are installed and was able to see the growth of the plants inside the sphere.

 Is this the future of a more responsible agriculture?

 

Women’s Dive Day – Interviews with Leading Women in Diving – Regina Rinkenburger

padi-womens-scuba-dive-day-2015-1024x316PADI is proud to present the inaugural PADI Women’s Dive Day on 18 July 2015, a special day to get women together, in the water and involved in diving. With numerous events being hosted around the world, the goal is to get as many women as possible, at every level, diving on the same day in order to build awareness and interest for the sport. PADI Regional Manager Jonas Samuelsson decided to interview leading women in the dive industry during the month leading up to the Women’s Dive Day. Just a few days prior to the Women’s Dive Day we publish an interview with diving legend Regina Rinkenburger, PADI Course Director and Operational Manager Dive-Point Red Sea.

11749990_10204526006375692_1858107407_oWhen and how did you start diving?

I did my first dive in 2007 in the Red Sea with a PADI DSD. After this experience I decided to do my Open Water Diver at home in Germany in the Lake of Constance. I came back to Egypt and my life changed completely as diving became an important part of my life.

Current position in diving?

I am a PADI Course Director and Operation Manager in Dive Point Red Sea, Hurghada, Egypt

What you find the most exciting about diving?

I enjoy every single dive… with students or just for fun. I like to be one with the amazing underwater world and I am happy that I have the possibility to do this every day.

11741833_10204525972734851_65913200_nFavorite part of working in diving?

Hard to say, there are so many. I enjoy a lot to bring people first time underwater and show them the marine life and share my passion with them. I get rewarded when I see how happy they came back from their first dive. But I also like a lot to teach IDC Candidates to teach diving which is on a different level. In both I try to give all my passion to my student, doesn’t matter which level. I like so much to bring the underwater environmental too he people and give them the possibility to see for what they have to take care of.

11749443_10204525972694850_1504890818_nAny dream dive you aspire to?

I am still looking forward to do cave diving in Mexico. And one of the positive things I took from my CDTC in 2013 was the great opportunity of the worldwide connection with new friends … also in Mexico…

What would the next course in diving be?

As I have reached the highest level in PADI I will concentrate on the Rebreather Diving with different Rebreathers.

Attributes that makes you more successful in diving?

11748193_10204526069177262_1977129025_oI think one attribute is for sure that I am very patiently with all people underwater … that I always remember that all of us start diving somehow somewhere some when. I never stop learning also from other people and try always new things. For me success means that you always go forward and don’t stop to keep your eyes open. Best moment in diving? There was a lot in my diving life, but I still remember my first breath underwater which definitely change my life. To feel the different world and be part of the underworld.

11739501_10204526069297265_658266065_nWhat is the next step in your career?

My next step will be the Rebreather Courses and following to become an Instructor for it to give than also the silence of diving to the divers

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions to divers and non-divers out there interested in a career in diving. 

Anytime. For me working in the diving industry has given me so much. If i can mentor someone to reach same happiness as me then its all been worth it. Please contact me on facebook or our website and i will be happy to share more of my experiences working in the most amazing industry on this planet!