Every year, divers from around the world join together to tackle one of the biggest problems for our oceans: marine debris. During AWARE Week, PADI dive centers around the world host coastal cleanups, Dive Against Debris surveys, restoration events, and so much more. These events put the global spotlight on trash in our seas and the harm it causes, as well as the overall importance of taking local action for global impact. Moreover, they give divers and ocean-lovers the chance to jump in and help with their own two hands.

This year, AWARE Week will take place 18-26 September 2021. Starting now and continuing through the month, many PADI dive centers around the world will invite divers to participate and take action. Here are a few worth diving into:

Ghost Gear Underwater Clean Up – Peru

Divers collect ghost nets
The Ghost Gear Clean Up will focus on removing derelict fishing gear.

On September 18, Chelonia Dive Center in Los Órganos, Peru will host a Ghost Gear Underwater Clean-Up! The focus will be on retrieving ghost gear. Ghost gear is discarded or lost fishing net that drifts in the ocean and entangles tons of marine life. Anyone from open water divers and up is welcome to join. 

Dive & Beach Clean Up Campaign – California, USA

During AWARE Week, Beach Cities Scuba is hosting a “Pacific Beach Hopping Campaign!” Every morning, divers and their families will help with beach clean-ups and Dive Against Debris surveys at different beaches throughout Southern California. On September 25, activities will focus on the popular and beautiful Aliso Beach.

Cleanup “Big Island” Home – Hawaii, USA

Shadows of manta rays swimming
Mantas are filter feeders that need clean water to thrive.

Mantas are a favorite on the Big Island in Hawaii. In honor of World Manta Day on Sept. 17 and AWARE Week, Jack’s Diving Locker will host their Cleanup “Big Island” Home event on September 4. Furthermore, they will be joined by Ocean Defenders Alliance and Manta Pacific Foundation. Join them to remove as much marine debris as possible from a site that is a favorite of mantas. 

Splash for Trash – United Kingdom

In North Wales, England, join SCUBA LEEDS on September 26 to make a Splash for Trash! Turn a shore dive at Treaddur Bay into a Dive Against Debris and get as much litter out of the water as you can. While you’re at it, enjoy the wrasse, cod, groupers, crabs and more that live amongst the kelp and rocks.

Dive Against Debris Specialty & Beach Clean Up – Indonesia

Divers stand with trash collected from the ocean floor.
Divers in Lembeh collect debris. Two Fish Divers

Two Fish Divers on Lembeh Island in North Sulawesi, Indonesia is hosting two events for AWARE Week 2021. Firstly, you can earn your PADI AWARE Specialty Diver certification on September 5. By doing so, you’ll join the world’s largest underwater citizen science movement and dive to make a difference.

Then, on September 10 (and every Friday), join them for a beach clean-up. Shoreline clean-ups are the easiest way to keep beaches clean and marine debris out of the ocean. Moreover, in a place like Lembeh, the muck diving capital of the world, this helps to save endangered corals that can get smothered by plastic bags and trash.

AWARE Clean-Up Dives – Curacao

The Dive Bus in Curaçao hosts free monthly PADI AWARE Clean-up dives. Join their September 11 dives to celebrate AWARE Week! The shop will head out to “ADS-88,” better known as Pierbaai Reef, and Car Pile. These are two of Curacao’s healthiest, best and most popular dive sites. Enjoy them while you give back to the ocean. Talk about seek adventure, save the ocean!

Dive, Clean, Repeat… All Week – Thailand

Man jumps over pile of marine debris
AWARE Week is a week-long clean-up celebration around the world. BB Divers Koh Chang

BB Divers Koh Chang in Bang Bao fishing village in Thailand is committing one dive from every dive trip during AWARE Week to cleaning up the reef! So, you can Dive, Clean, Repeat… All Week! Near to the beaches, there is a lot of trash. Therefore, this will be the focus of the cleanup dives. Enjoy the amazing biodiversity that the area is known for while diving off a traditional Thai fishing boat adapted for diving.

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