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Ocean Conservation

Joining Together to Protect What We Love

Lahaina Divers has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to the environment through its course offerings, and partnering with organizations such as Project AWARE. We continue to learn, grow and share information with divers so that we can all take part in protecting fragile coral reefs and threatened ocean species.

Nonprofit Project AWARE works with scuba divers across the globe to protect underwater environments. Since its establishment in 1989, the community has grown to become a worldwide network of over 180,000 divers. To date, the volunteers have removed worldwide over one million pieces of trash from the ocean. The organiation is involved in many other conservation programs and advocacy.

Our PADI 5-Star Dive Center has committed to ocean protection through the 100% AWARE partnership. Lahaina Divers makes a donation to Project AWARE on behalf of each student we certify. These contributions provide vital funds for marine debris prevention and shark and ray protection. In addition, conservation messages are woven into classes we teach and on-board dive briefings.

Learn more about ocean conservation through these two courses:


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Project AWARE Coral Reef Conservation

Everyone likes to scuba dive or snorkel in warm, clear water on a vibrant coral reef, yet many people know little about what they’re seeing or the importance of reef ecosystems. The AWARE - Coral Reef Conservation Specialty course helps you appreciate the complexity of these habitats and teaches you how you can help conserve these vital systems.

Through classroom discussions, you learn:

  • How coral reefs function and the complex nature of life on a reef.
  • Why coral reefs are so important.
  • Why many coral reefs are in serious trouble.
  • What you can do to prevent further decline.
  • How Project AWARE unites divers and water enthusiasts to make a difference.

Cost: $179.00.  Course takes approximately four hours and is completed in our shop. Open to divers and non-divers of any age.

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Project AWARE Fish Identification

“What was that fish?” is a common question heard after a dive. If you want to be the scuba diver with the answers, instead of the one asking the questions, then take the AWARE – Fish Identification Specialty course.

You’ll enjoy your dives even more when you recognize the creatures that you see and can identify the main fish families and their characteristics.

During two scuba dives, you’ll learn:

  • How to identify characteristics of local fish families and species.
  • Fish survey techniques and strategies.
  • About Project AWARE activities that can help protect aquatic life

Cost: $179.00 not including price of charter. Charter of your choice is discounted $20 for specialty students. Available to Open Water Diver ages 10 and up; Adventures in Diving Manual with Knowledge Review completed.

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Reef Safe Sunscreen

Reef safe sunscreenWhen you apply sunscreen then dive into the ocean, chemicals wash off your body and can harm the reef and marine eco-system. Two ingredients in particular are known to be harmful to corals- oxybenzone and octinoxate.

Scientific testing shows that oxybenzone and octinoxate may stunt the growth of baby corals, and oxybenzone causes bleaching, killing live corals. 

Hawaii recently voted to ban the sale of sunscreens that contain the reef-damaging chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate, beginning in 2021. Most island stores have already started converting over and offer reef-safe alternatives now.

Please- No Spray Products on Boats. When purchasing sunscreen for your dive trip, please make sure to use reef-safe lotion, not spray. Sprays of any kind make for slippery boat surfaces!