Global Dive Operators Receive Environmental Honors

Project AWARE Foundation announces Environmental Achievement Award Recipients 2008.

Project AWARE Foundation honors dive operators around the world who display commitment and excellence in their efforts to protect underwater environments within business operations and their community.

Project AWARE Foundation Chairman, Dr. Drew Richardson recognizes the importance of the scuba diving community taking its part in protection of global ecosystems. “The environmental Achievement Award is about rewarding vision, excellence and pursuit of conservation. More importantly, this award ensures the enjoyment of underwater environments for future generations,” states Richardson.

“Our awards recognise dive operators making a positive impact on local communities and the environment, as well as providing great dive holidays! The number of outstanding environmental programs taking place is inspiring,” said Joanna McNamara, Project AWARE Coordinator.

This year the Matava Resort enjoyed an eco renovation and received Fiji’s first AAA Green Star Accreditation for environmental sustainability. Holidaying here you will find the bures are powered by independent solar power systems and there’s even a full service organic farm which means the resort is self supplied with paw paws, lemons and lettuce to name but a few.

Making a commitment to the local community Sea Hounds, Singapore offer kids from low income families opportunities to experience snorkeling and scuba diving and learn about coral reefs, endangered species and threats to marine life. The program is offered in conjunction with Singapore Sports Council and Ministry of Education. The Crew at NZ Sea Adventure have advocated for the south coast marine reserve in Wellington, New Zealand. A no take area where fishing of any kind is prohibited the long term benefit to the marine environment will be significant.

Project AWARE funding kick started the Giant Clam Regeneration Project for Dive Tropex, Fiji. The giant clams have grown from 7cm to over 70cm in 8 years. Recognised unofficially by locals as a protected area plans are underway to see the Giant Clam site awarded marine park status.

Black Tip Diving, Thailand offer local children opportunities to swim, snorkel and dive! “It is a sad fact that although they live on the island most locals cannot swim, have a fear of the ocean and have never explored the most beautiful aspect of their home,” says General Manager Shalini Negi. Additionally Black Tip Diving certify their Thai dive staff at no cost so they can help spread the message of conservation.

The following Asia Pacific Environmental Achievement Award 2008 recipients operate in an environmentally responsible manner and demonstrate an outstanding commitment to conserving underwater environments through education, advocacy and action.

– Palm Beach Divers, Thailand

– Matava, Fiji Islands

– United Divers, Australia

– Sea Hounds, Singapore

– B & J Diving Centre, Malaysia

– Blacktip Diving, Thailand

– NZ Sea Adventures, New Zealand

– Undersea Explorer, Australia

– Dive Tropex Tokoriki, Fiji Islands

– Plunge Diving, Australia

– Malapascua-Exotic Island Dive Resort, Philippines

– Crystal Dive Resort, Thailand

– Kon-Tiki Thailand

– Deep Blue Scuba, Singapore

– Ocean Elements, Malaysia

– Remote Area Dive, Australia

– Dive Tutukaka, New Zealand

– Redcliffe Training Centre, Australia

– Big Blue Diving Store, Thailand

– Eco Scuba, Korea

– Subsurface Fiji, Fiji Islands

The number of amazing initiatives and actions implemented by the Project AWARE Environmental Achievement Award Winners is inspiring. Congratulations! For information on planning your own environmental project or becoming more environmentally sustainable contact Project AWARE.www.projectaware.org

Project AWARE Foundation, a registered nonprofit organization, works in direct partnership with divers and water enthusiasts to conserve underwater environments through education, advocacy and action.   To get involved in environmental activities and make a lasting difference visit www.projectaware.org

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