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PADI Coral Reef Conservation Course

Divers, and non-divers, need to understand the importance and complexity of coral reef habitats and why we need to protect healthy corals living in the seas and oceans.

This guide explains how anyone with an interest in the aquatic realm can help prevent further decline by becoming an AWARE - Coral Reef Conservation Specialist.

The Plight of Coral Reefs | Table of Contents

Note: The AWARE - Coral Reef Specialty certification may count towards the Master Scuba Diver. Check the list of PADI® Specialties for further details on more than thirty other courses (listed from A to Z).

The main aim of the Coral Reef Conservation Specialty course is to inform concerned individuals about the troubles faced by these vital systems.

Students will learn exactly how coral reefs function and why reef ecosystems are so important for our existence on earth.

Creating greater awareness to specific regions with severe problems gives individuals an opportunity to take action and help prevent further degradation.

Coral Reefs: Rainforests of the Sea

Corals have an innate beauty that creates diverse storehouses of marine biodiversity. The colourful reef formations offer sites for some of the best diving and snorkeling destinations in the 'Blue Planet'.

Furthermore, around 25% of all known marine vertebrate and invertebrate species need coral reefs for habitat and as breeding grounds.

Here's the bottom line:

The coral reef environment is a priceless resource and we risk losing it forever. So, we need divers (and a lot more non-divers) to help conserve and protect these fragile aquatic ecosystems.

What is the Meaning of Specialty Diver?

In simple terms, a Specialty Diver is someone with enhanced scuba diving abilities beyond entry level certifications (e.g. Discover Programs, Scuba Diver, Open Water Diver).

Signing up for specialist scuba courses is the ideal path to take if you want to learn new techniques and experience different kinds of underwater exploration.

Furthermore, you will get the best opportunity to acquire superior knowledge and skills in the diving activities that interest you most because a 'Specialty Instructor' will be supervising the training.

Learn about Coral Reef Habitats

Age Limits and Prerequisites for Certification

PADI's AWARE - Coral Reef Conservation Specialty course is a discussion-based activity that usually takes place in a classroom. So, unlike most specialty courses, there is no requirement to perform scuba training dives.

There are no age restrictions and no prerequisites to enrol in most PADI Environmental Specialties because they do not require any in-water instruction.

Time Commitment: Two (2) to Four (4) Hours

Maximum Depth: Not Applicable

Open Water Training Dives: Not Required

Note: Scuba certifications do not expire. But, we recommend the PADI ReActivate® scuba review if you've been inactive from diving for a while and want to get back in the water.


Why Should You Become a Coral Reef Specialist?

If you're a diver, or an active snorkeler, you most likely already know why saving coral reef ecosystems is vital.

But, if you're wondering why humans should care about coral reefs you will learn something new by taking the AWARE - Coral Reef Conservation Specialty course.

There is no valid debate. Most underwater ecosystems are stunningly beautiful and practically bustling with marine life.

On healthy rock structures, whether they are natural or man-made artificial reefs, you can see all kinds of weird and wonderful critters and tropical fishes, including:

It is also worth noting that tiny reef polyps are sessile organisms form part of the structure. In fact, even though they appear to be colourful rocks, coral polyps are animals.

Okay, so all this information sounds pretty cool if you want to start scuba diving or join a snorkeling tour in Pattaya. But why are corals so important that even non-divers need to protect them?

The Benefits of Caring for Biotic Reefs

If you speak to most biologists they will refer to coral reefs as the 'rainforests of the oceans'. Why is that? Mostly, it's because these complex structures help to support an abundance of aquatic organisms.

In a nutshell, there is no shortage of reasons why we the human race should (and must) care about coral reefs.

AWARE - Coral Reef Conservation Specialty Certification in Pattaya, Thailand.The most notable reasons why we need to care is that coral reefs (all):

  • Are a vital resource for the development of existing and new medicines.
  • Create tourist attractions that help to boost economies worldwide.
  • Help to protect coastlines against erosion.
  • Provide a food source for millions of people on our overcrowded planet.
  • Provide safe habitats for marine life.

Note: Most participants who want to become a Coral Reef expert will be scuba divers. Even so, our blog about snorkeling caters for other watersport enthusiasts.


Digital Learning Programs for Self-Study

In general, students with a busy schedule will benefit from choosing online learning to complete the self-study portions.

Being able to complete the independent study part for certification courses offers some convenience with flexibility.

As long as you have a computer or a mobile device, you will be able to study the knowledge development portion at your own pace (online or offline).

Signing Up for PADI eLearning™

You can complete some self-study assignments online with eLearning®. Then, you would need to contact the dive shop to perform any required scuba training dives with a PADI Instructor.


Coral Reef Conservation Specialty: What Will You Learn?

You need to participate in the instructor-led knowledge sessions by completing the knowledge reviews (the A.W.A.R.E. - Our World, Our Water manual is recommended and available as a free download).

The Project AWARE Foundation is a nonprofit organisation, designated in 1992. It helps to unite divers and other concerned individuals about the plight of coral reefs and how to conserve underwater environments.

Joining forces with the team of environmental divers means you can become a Project AWARE Patron and contribute to conservation.

Key takeaway:

The main topics covered in the academics sections include information that unites scuba divers and other water enthusiasts, including:

  1. Project AWARE
  2. The Importance of Coral Reefs
  3. Understanding Coral
  4. The Complex Nature of Life on the Coral Reef
  5. Coral Reefs in Peril
  6. Protect the Living Reef

Note: Another section contains more information about earning the Project AWARE Specialist certification with the 'Private Scuba' team in Thailand.



Specialist Equipment and Diving Gear

If you decide to go diving after completing the course you will be wearing a normal scuba gear set for the dives.

So, other specialist equipment that you might use when diving around shallow coral reef formations could include:


FAQ Section and Medical Questionnaire Form

Can I Take the PADI Coral Reef Course Online?

There are many scuba courses you can do online, and some offline too. You would need to check whether this particular course is available through digital learning.

Which Organisations are Trying to Help Save Coral Reefs?

Some of the major organisations that use simple methods of plant propagation in their coral reef and atoll restoration projects, include:

  • Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF)
  • National Coral Reef Institute (NCRI)
  • Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire (RRFB)
  • Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI)
  • U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (CRTF)

What Does the A.W.A.R.E. Acronym Mean?

The A.W.A.R.E. acronym stands for Aquatic World Awareness, Responsibility, and Education. One of the key missions of Project AWARE Foundation is teaching the world about the importance of preserving the aquatic environment.

Is it Bad Practice to Touch Underwater Organisms?

Divers share a common responsibility to protect and conserve nature. As a result, interacting passively with aquatic animals helps to safeguard the habitats of delicate and sensitive sea life.

When Should You Do a Scuba Refresher?

Suppose you don't go diving for more than six months. There is a simple way to refresh the knowledge and skills that you already learned.

After a long period of inactivity, taking the PADI ReActivate® program will help you brush up on the safety procedures and scuba diving fundamentals.

Medical Requirements: Free Download

You must be in good physical and mental health and be medically fit for recreational scuba diving. You can review the Diver Medical Participant Questionnaire Online to check whether you need to be evaluated by a physician.

It is not appropriate to ask dive staff (e.g. divemasters, instructors) for medical advice or clearance to go diving. Instead, you can contact the Divers Alert Network (DAN) if you have questions about your medical fitness to dive.


Price for AWARE - Coral Reef Conservation Specialty Course in Thailand 8,000 THB*

We have qualified instructors and expert dive guides who can teach in several languages, including English, Thai, and Chinese.

The price includes (all):

Blue Check MarkDive trips (where applicable)

Blue Check MarkProfessional tuition from a "Private Scuba" Instructor

Blue Check MarkFree rental of required diving equipment (for optional dives)

Blue Check MarkPADI Coral Reef Conservation Specialty Manual and Certification Card

Blue Check MarkHotel transfers within Pattaya City limits

The AWARE - Coral Reef Conservation Specialty Certification is one of the non-diving courses that PADI® Assistant Instructors can teach.

Important: You may be making two (2) scuba training dives in the same day. If so, the PADI flying after diving guidelines say you need to wait a minimum of eighteen (18) hours after the second dive before you go to altitude. Please send us an email if you need further information.


YouTube Video and Knowledge Base for Participants

Most of the information and advice in this page focuses on scuba diving activities conducted from different types of watercraft.

We also have a list of blog articles about snorkeling which relate to popular boating adventures - especially in Thailand.

Help Guides about Coral Reef Formations

Note: The short video [1:59 seconds] presented by PADI highlights some of the reasons why underwater reefs attract scuba divers and why we need more ambassadors to protect the Blue Planet.


What Comes after PADI Coral Reefs Specialty?

Almost all scuba divers enjoy hovering around ridges of rock formed by the growth and deposit of different corals. So what comes next?

This non-diving certification has links to the best Specialty Courses offered by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).

Even so, AWARE - Coral Reef Conservation Specialty Certification combines well with several other specialty courses such as, AWARE Shark Conservation, Peak Performance Buoyancy, AWARE Fish Identification, and Digital Underwater Photographer.

Note: All course prices for diving are subject to change and assume that all prerequisites have been met to start the training. Click here to contact the team at Private Scuba in Thailand to make a booking or send an enquiry.

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