The PADI organization is igniting a viral conservation effort uniting divers in a campaign to protect the aquatic environments they love.  Sea the Change, a global conservation contest designed to build environmental awareness and action using social media word-of-mouth is now live at PADI and Project AWARE social media networks.

Participants enter Sea the Change by uploading a video clip about the underwater world they love and how they are protecting it. The videos are shared with social media friends, who ultimately vote on and select the top entry. The entry with the most votes wins a $5000 US grand prize. The PADI organization will also donate an additional $5000 US to Project AWARE Foundation in honor of the winner.

“Social media has a compounding, powerful effect, which is why PADI is mobilizing people via these channels” says PADI Americas Vice President of Marketing and Communications Kristin Valette. “Aquatic conservation is a hot web conversation for everyone – not just divers. With Sea the Change, everyone can share a message of conservation and concern with the world and show how they are making a difference.”

The strength of Sea the Change lies in its capacity to leverage the viral nature of social media. Anyone can easily vote on and share these video entries with Facebook friends. This means the conservation effort can build huge momentum as more people share with their friends throughout the year.

To keep the conversation stimulated, PADI Offices and Project AWARE Foundation will share video entries, stories and conservation messages with the nearly 273,000 (and growing) friends and followers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as on corporate blogs. A public relations media campaign is also planned to increase awareness.

Be a part of the change! Anyone at least 13 years old can participate and enter multiple times. Visit Sea the Change at today to view complete contest details, upload your entry and help ignite a viral conservation effort.

PADI – The Way the World Learns to Dive®

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA – 23 March 2011