Share |

Project AWARE Foundation

 30151 Tomas, Suite 200
 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
[P] (949) 8587657 x 2557
[F] (949) 2671221
[email protected]
Lauren Wiskerson
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA Project AWARE
Project AWARE Foundation
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Employer Identification Number 33-0540475 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

Project AWARE® is a global movement for ocean protection powered by a community of adventurers. We connect the passion for ocean adventure with the purpose of marine conservation.

Mission Statement

Project AWARE® is a global movement for ocean protection powered by a community of adventurers. We connect the passion for ocean adventure with the purpose of marine conservation.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2019
Projected Expenses $852,749.00
Projected Revenue $860,741.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Shark Protection
  • Marine Debris

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Project AWARE® is a global movement for ocean protection powered by a community of adventurers. We connect the passion for ocean adventure with the purpose of marine conservation.

Background Statement

Over the past two decades of underwater conservation we’ve learned that divers are true leaders in ocean protection. We’re ocean heroes numbering in the millions across the globe. We believe together our actions will make a huge impact and will help to rescue the ocean.

Project AWARE supports an unprecedented global movement of divers acting in their own communities to protect the ocean and implement lasting change.

Impact Statement

The vision of Project AWARE is a return to a clean, healthy and abundant ocean planet. The organization fulfills this mission by engaging divers globally in key programs areas; Clean Ocean and Healthy Ocean

For over 26 years, together with our partners and global community, we responded to the threats our ocean faces and we’ve had some incredible successes.

● Developed the first and only underwater marine debris survey (launched 2011).

● Launched the Dive Against Debris mobile app (2017).

● Rallied over 120,000 divers to bring historic safeguards for sharks and rays.

● Trained and supported an army of volunteers to take action against underwater trash and save ocean wildlife.

● Removed and reported over 1.2 million trash items from underwater environments.

● Closed loopholes in the EU finning ban.

● Actively advocated for trade restrictions in some of the world’s most heavily traded shark and ray species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

● Influenced decisions to expand conservation for 21 migratory shark and ray species under Convention for Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and assisted governments in implementing conservation measures under the associated inter-governmental MoU.

Needs Statement

Our ocean is under siege. More than 250 million tons of plastic are estimated to make its way into our ocean by 2025. Everyday trash is entering the sea at an alarming rate. Marine debris is not only unsightly, it’s dangerous to sea life, hazardous to human health, and costly to our economies. Marine animals become entangled in debris, and even mistake it for food - often with fatal results. Divers, swimmers and beach goers can be directly harmed by encounters with marine debris or its toxins. The environmental damage caused by plastic debris alone is estimated at US$13 billion per year.

There's evidence of plastic making its way up the food chain to marine predators, who are ingesting microplastics via the fish they eat. If this is the case for our marine predators, it is highly likely the same is occurring in humans who consume fish from the ocean.

The AWARE community has already removed over 1.2 million items of debris and we are committed to remove another million items of debris by the end of 2020. $250,000 is required during this time to scale the Dive Against Debris program for success.

We know the AWARE community, along with our partners, can help drive the return to a clean ocean. Please join us and become our “The Next Million Partner” to help fund a cleaner ocean.

CEO Statement

United in our passion for the underwater world, we engaged and activated our global volunteer community to fuel our conservation work, empowered individuals to become stewards for our ocean planet, and championed policy change to secure real and direct environmental victories. The collective efforts of Project AWARE divers, partners and staff to support our mission to protect our ocean planet have been key to our success and forward momentum.

Board Chair Statement


Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Online PaypalCheckTelephone donationsĀ Volunteer opportunitiesĀ 

Geographic Area Served

Tax exempt nonprofit entities in USA, Australia and UK. Volunteer office in Japan. Service 180+ countries and territories.

Organization Categories

  1. Environment - Environmental Education
  2. Animal Related - Animal Protection & Welfare
  3. Science & Technology - Marine Science and Oceanography



Shark Protection

We are emptying the ocean of sharks. Thankfully, divers are some of sharks’ closest and most influential allies. 
Here’s why your actions to protect sharks matter:

Nearly one out of four shark and ray species is classified by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as Threatened with extinction and ray species are found to be at higher risks than sharks. That doesn’t even include almost half of all sharks and ray species whose population status cannot be assessed because of lack of information.

Why do we worry about shark populations? A healthy and abundant ocean depends on predators like sharks keeping ecosystems balanced. And living sharks fuel local economies in some places, like Palau where sharks bring in an estimated $18 million per year through dive tourism.

They may rule the ocean, but sharks are vulnerable. They grow slowly, produce few young, and, as such, are exceptionally susceptible to overexploitation.

Overfishing is driving sharks to the brink - with many populations down by 80 percent. Tens of millions are killed each year for their meat, fins, liver, and other products.

Bycatch– or catching sharks incidentally while fishing for other commercial species – poses a significant threat to sharks. At the same time, new markets for shark products are blurring the line between targeted and accidental catches.

Finning– Shark fins usually fetch a much higher price than shark meat, providing an economic incentive for the wasteful and indefensible practice of “finning” (removing shark fins and discarding the often still alive shark at sea). Finning is often associated with shark overfishing, especially as keeping only the fins allows fishermen to kill many more sharks in a trip than if they were required to bring back the entire animal.

Shark fishing continues largely unregulated in most of the world’s ocean. Yet the future of sharks hinges on holding shark fishing and trade to sustainable levels. 
Budget  $240,000.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Environment, General/Other
Population Served Adults
Program Short-Term Success  We can lead change locally through innovative, results orientated action on the ground. And last, but most definitely not least, if you choose to eat seafood, refrain from a purchase unless you can be certain that it's coming from a sustainable source.
Program Long-Term Success  the future of sharks hinges on holding shark fishing and trade to sustainable levels. The best way to ensure an end to finning is to require that sharks are landed with their fins still “naturally” attached. Fishing limits must be guided by science and reflect a precautionary approach while trade must be controlled and monitored. We must also invest in shark research and catch reporting, and protect vital shark habitats. 
Program Success Monitored By  Enforced measure for shark and ray protection.
Examples of Program Success  Together, we are creating a powerful, collective voice to lead global grassroots change. You’ve helped us secure a stronger EU finning ban and bring about safeguards for highly traded shark and ray species under CITES.

Marine Debris

Our ocean is under siege. From everyday trash like plastic bags, food wrappers and drink bottles, to larger items like car batteries, kitchen appliances and fishing nets, our debris is entering the sea at an alarming rate. Our ocean has become a dumping ground.

Marine debris is not only unsightly, it’s dangerous to sea life, hazardous to human health, and costly to our economies. Marine animals can become entangled in debris or mistake small particles of trash for food – often with fatal results. Divers, swimmers and beachgoers can be directly harmed by encounters with debris or its toxins. And, the costs of plastic debris to marine ecosystems are estimated at 13 billion dollars a year.

Join us and take action against marine debris.

Budget  $250,000.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Marine Conservation
Population Served Adults
Program Short-Term Success  Global change is empowered by grassroots movement. We need you – ocean enthusiasts and the scuba diving community – to help by taking action in your local communities!
Program Long-Term Success  Project AWARE fights for the prevention and reduction of marine debris. Through ourPartnerships Against Trash, we work with governments, NGOs and businesses to affect change on a global scale. In order to achieve a long-term solution, we must influence policy at local, national and international levels and prevent trash from entering the ocean in the first place.
Program Success Monitored By  Through Dive Against Debris, Project AWARE supporters remove undersea litter collected while diving and report results. Trash removed during Dive Against Debris makes the ocean safer for marine life, and more importantly, information reported helps inform policy change. With your help, Project AWARE can use the information you report through Dive Against Debris to convince individuals, governments and businesses to act against marine debris.
Examples of Program Success  --


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Danna Moore
CEO Term Start July 2017
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience With 10 years of experience fostering high-level stakeholder relationships with NGOs, policy makers, and corporations, Moore is passionate about building odd-bedfellow coalitions to drive change. She has worked to advance market and policy solutions on ocean issues such as marine debris, habitat protection, and overfishing. Her experience in program development, stakeholder engagement and operations management, have led her to an exciting career at Project AWARE. As Director of Global Operations, Danna Moore leads Project AWARE’s global team in the development and implementation of the overall strategy, global operations, brand, and partnerships.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Lauren Wiskerson Fundraising Manager Leading Global Fundraising Team and strategy


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 6
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 5,167
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100%
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 4
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 2
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Drew Richardson Ed.D
Board Chair Company Affiliation Chairman
Board Chair Term -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Deborah Brosnan -- --
Jenny Miller Garmendia -- --
Jeff Nadler -- --
Kristin Valette -- --

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 3
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 0%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments


Standing Committees



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $860,741.00
Projected Expenses $852,749.00
Form 990s

2017 990

2016 990

2015 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 Form 990

Audit Documents

2017 Audited Financials

2016 Audited Financials

2015 Audited Financials

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $812,412 $660,868 $758,255
Total Expenses $749,708 $645,029 $611,536

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$752,847 $609,298 $741,567
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- $0
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- $0
Earned Revenue $2,025 $1,399 $878
Investment Income, Net of Losses $221 $221 $221
Membership Dues -- -- $0
Special Events $57,319 $49,950 $15,589
Revenue In-Kind -- -- $0
Other -- -- $0

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $535,801 $448,732 $430,948
Administration Expense $105,903 $122,451 $110,390
Fundraising Expense $108,004 $73,846 $70,198
Payments to Affiliates -- -- $0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.08 1.02 1.24
Program Expense/Total Expenses 71% 70% 70%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 13% 11% 9%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $739,759 $671,945 $729,207
Current Assets $685,813 $523,329 $623,727
Long-Term Liabilities -- $70,133 $131,398
Current Liabilities $88,501 $13,258 $25,094
Total Net Assets $651,258 $588,554 $572,715

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 7.75 39.47 24.86

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 10% 18%
Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) 0%
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal $0.00
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the Form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions.


Other Documents

Annual Report (2017)

Annual Report (2016)

No Other Documents currently available.