Wednesday, January 15, 2020

ALERT - Please Support the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary by Signing This Letter of Support

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary protects a complex, interconnected ecosystem with different habitats and wildlife. The Florida Keys Restoration Blueprint and Draft Environmental Impact Statement offers an opportunity for the industry to address these issues, restore habitats and protect marine wildlife.  
Diving and the dive industry depend upon sustainable interaction with the marine environment for its very existence. We serve as strong stewards for the marine environment and we need to protect the marine environment and marine life.  WE NEED YOUR HELP!
DEMA and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation have teamed together to write a letter of support for many of the important elements of the Restoration Blueprint.  Please take the following actions to help amplify support for the Florida Keys.

1. Include your signature on this 
Take Action Letter for dive organizations and businesses.
You can include your signature by sending us your first and last name, affiliation and organization/business name to publicpolicy@dema.org by close of business January 27, 2020. DEMA will submit the signed letter on behalf of those who have asked to be included to Regulations.gov.
2. Share DEMA’s Take Action Letter with Your Membership, Colleagues, and Community and ask them to sign too: Feel free to forward this notice or use it as a template to reach out to your colleagues and community.

3. Use this Letter to Start Your Own Letter and Share with Your Staff:If individuals want to sign a letter of their own, they can use this letter as a starting point and send it directly to 
Regulations.gov (Docket Number NOAA-NOS-2019-0094).  Please consider sharing this with your staff and ask them to engage in the public process.
Please submit your first and last name, affiliation and organization/business to publicpolicy@dema.org by close of business on January 27, 2020.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

DEMA-Sponsored Educational Sessions from DEMA Show 2019 Now Available Online


Did you miss out on valuable educational opportunities provided as part of the DEMA-Sponsored Education Package? DEMA-Sponsored Education covers a wide spectrum of topics to expand your business and career. Select sessions from DEMA Show 2019 are now available for purchase from DEMA.org. 

Learn more and purchase access to the recordings today!


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Alert - NOAA Proposes Changes to Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) proposes to expand the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) boundary, update sanctuary-wide regulations, modify and establish new marine zones, update marine zone-specific regulations, and revise the sanctuary’s non-regulatory management plan. NOAA has issued a Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) on FKNMS.
According to NOAA, the existing FKNMS Sanctuary regulations, marine zones, and management plan activities designed and implemented in the mid-1990s are no longer sufficient to ensure long-term resource protection and ecosystem function integrity into the future.
DEMA has been a supporter of the National Marine Sanctuaries since the 1990s and was heavily involved with the creation of FKNMS. DEMA has supported the reauthorization of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, testifying before congress in support of the Act and the need to permit access by non-consumptive activities such as recreational diving, reminding government and management that recreational divers, more than anyone else, see first-hand the conditions of reefs, and that diving is not an inherently “extractive” activity that depletes resources such as coral or reef fish.
Since the 1990s, DEMA has been the recreational diving community’s voice for the Sanctuary Programs and is now seeking your help in continuing to express the need to protect these valuable natural assets while maintaining diver access to the Sanctuary areas.
Please provide comments on the proposed Sanctuary changes by going to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, www.regulations.gov. Use docket number NOAA-NOS-2019-0094.
For those local to the Florida Keys and South Florida, the sanctuary will hold its final public meeting and accept oral comments on December 10:
Islander Resort
82100 Overseas Highway
Islamorada, Florida

Join us at Dive in Day at the Florida Capitol

Each year DEMA sponsors "Dive in Day" in Tallahassee, FL, giving local DEMA Members the unique opportunity to showcase their diving-related products and services, and promote issues that are important to the scuba diving industry. This year's Dive in Day is on January 21, 2020. 
Florida’s 160 legislators, the Governor and his staff, and hundreds of Florida visitors will be at the Capitol during the day. DEMA has reserved the courtyard and first floor of the Capitol building to give DEMA Members and Florida-based dive businesses an opportunity to showcase Florida’s recreational diving operators. 
In addition to displaying products and services, DEMA is asking the members of our Industry to meet with legislators to discuss issues relevant to the Florida diving industry. For those interested in bringing attention to issues critical to the Industry in Florida, on request, DEMA will arrange a time for you to meet with your state Senator or Representative and provide you with information that will help you discuss these important topics. You can take advantage of this opportunity and participate with DEMA’s Public Policy efforts in Florida, by calling Emily Bolde at (850) 201-5224 or by email at ebolde@lawfla.com. Meeting YOUR Representative or Senator can focus attention on a variety of issues that affect the scuba diving industry, such as shark finning, the future of the goliath grouper, spiny lobster, environmental issues, and others. DEMA will also distribute relevant information to legislators (and Capitol visitors) which include the size of the diving industry in Florida and its importance in jobs, tourism, and the economy with a focus on the economic benefit of Florida dive businesses and the protection of sharks and their vital role in the marine ecosystem. 
This year’s Dive in Day at the Capitol will be Tuesday January 21st, 2020. 
If you are interested in exhibiting, we suggest you bring simple and inexpensive table-top displays that include brochures, videos, product information, handouts and other materials to attract interest from the public and lawmakers. EXHIBIT SPACE IN THE CAPITOL BUILDING IS FREE but is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis. 
SPACE IS LIMITED! PLEASE RSVP BY CLOSE OF BUSINESS ON JANUARY 1, 2020. 
To RSVP or for more information about Dive in Day at the Capitol, please contact Emily Bolde, at ebolde@lawfla.com or (850) 201-5224 (office). We look forward to seeing you there! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Amy Lee Honored as DEMA’s 2019 Wave Makers Award Recipient

** Announcement Made at the 2019 DEMA Awards Party **
The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association is pleased to announce that Amy Lee is the 2019 recipient of DEMA’s Wave Makers Award. The announcement was made at the DEMA Award’s Party on November 15, 2019. The celebration was held to honor the 2019 Wave Makers Award finalists and 2019 recipient, as well as to celebrate the careers of the 2019 Reaching Out Award Recipients.

The Wave Makers Award was first introduced in 2017 and aims to recognize professionals who have been working in the industry for five years or less and have made a significant contribution to the industry during that time. The Wave Makers Award encourages the Industry to support a culture that fosters innovative thinking and encourages engagement with the association and industry by new professionals.
The finalists for the 2019 Wave Makers Award included:
  • Rosemary Ciotti, Adaptive Diving Association
  • Mike Johnson, Solstice Productions
  • Amy Lee, Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF)
  • Nicole Zelek, Superdive Scuba
2019 DEMA Members selected Amy Lee as the 2019 Award recipient by viewing and voting for the finalist of their choice, based on the biographies and short videos that the finalists submitted. 
AMY LEE is REEF’s Trips Program and Communications Manager. Through all aspects of her work, Amy strives to merge her passions for diving, communication, science, and travel. Amy is always looking for ways to inspire new divers and young people interested in the oceans, and she strives to make ocean science accessible and fun.
In her role at REEF, she organizes, plans, and promotes trips to dive destinations world-wide through REEF’s citizen science Volunteer Fish Survey Program. In addition to managing this eco-diving travel program, she is a REEF Trip Leader, where she enthusiastically shares her passion for marine life and encourages participants to become engaged in ways that will make their diving truly count. She serves as one of REEF’s primary mentors to young professionals participating in the Marine Conservation Internship program. In her spare time, Amy has served as a contributing writer for several publications including: Alert Diver MagazineScuba DivingEarth is Blue, and the 2nd edition of the popular Lionfish Cookbook.
Amy views diving as more than just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle—and she strongly believes that as an individual, you make a difference for our oceans.
DEMA congratulates Amy Lee for her hard work and passionate service to our Industry and looks forward to seeing the contributions she will continue to make throughout her career.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Author’s Corner at DEMA Show

Ever dreamt of meeting and talking to your favorite authors, hearing about their exploits and encounters, and purchasing your own signed copies of their books? Now you can at DEMA Show 2019 with the Author's Corner, taking place in DEMA Central, Booth 1561. Meet with the following authors during their scheduled times below:

MEET JON COON
Ghost River
Wednesday, 12:00-12:30 PMThursday, 12:00-12:30 PMFriday, 12:00-12:30 PM
Book Description:Gabe Jones is not like most underwater criminal investigators―he talks to the dead and the dead talk back. In this crime-thrilling suspense novel, Gabe dives into a watery world of crime and corruption as a paranormal experience helps him uncover the grisly truth of his partner’s death.
After losing his trooper partner Charlie in a recovery dive, Gabe Jones is not prepared for what he discovers when he attempts to investigate the scene of Charlie’s death. In the mirky waters of the Florida panhandle, Gabe questions his partner’s departed spirit and uncovers an underwater graveyard, along with a dire warning that more deaths are coming if he doesn’t stop the killer. In a race against time, the underwater spirits lead him to the incriminating evidence he needs to expose the killer. But when his investigation is discovered, he puts Charlie’s family at risk. Will he have what it takes to outwit his adversaries, save Charlie’s daughter, and expose the killer, all while navigating the tumultuous waves of relationships he finds himself in above water?

MEET AL HORNSBY
Face to Face: Up Close with Mother Nature
Friday, 3:00-3:30 PM
Book Description:Face to Face - Up Close with Mother Nature is a collection of wildlife author and photographer Al Hornsby's most exciting underwater and topside wildlife encounters, as captured through his camera and words. Organized into The Americas; Africa; and Asia and the Pacific sections, the color and B&W images, most shot at very close range, feature sharks, whales, crocodiles, grizzly bears, leopards, cobras and many more of nature's most lovely and exciting creatures. Key photographs are accompanied by Al's first-person impressions of the encounters that led to the images, which share his feelings and emotions during those oft-times intense, face-to-face moments. According to the author, "For the big animals - big carnivores in particular - it's my hope the book's images and real-life stories can show that their fearsome reputations as 'blood-thirsty man eaters' are the products of myth and too little real information; that they are instead majestic and beautiful, usually too timid or wary to be approached at all, and even if they show interest in us, it's generally merely simple curiosity. This aside, they play critical roles in virtually all our planet's ecosystems, and they need to be protected. Hopefully, Face to Face can do its small part in communicating just what is at stake should we ultimately fail to adequately respond."

MEET BRANDI MUELLER
The Airplane Graveyard: The Forgotten WWII Warbirds of Kwajalein Atoll
Friday 2:00-2:30 PM      
Book Description:Extraordinary images, never before published in book form, of the forgotten American WWII Airplanes at the bottom of the Kwajalein Atoll lagoon, from award-winning underwater photographer Brandi Mueller.
At the end of WWII, around 150 American airplanes, all veterans of the Pacific war, were dumped in the lagoon of Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands. A master diver and superb underwater photographer, Brandi Mueller has dived to depths of 120 feet to capture rare images of these forgotten war birds, many looking as if they could still take off and return to the war-torn skies at any moment.
Encrusted in coral, these haunting aircraft are now home to a colorful array of tropical Pacific marine life, including fish, turtles, and even the occasional shark. Discover the stories of these historic aircraft, their heroic role in the Pacific Theater of WWII, and how and why they ended up here.
In The Airplane Graveyard, Brandi takes you below the ocean’s surface to discover the forgotten remains of Douglas SBD Dauntless, Vought F4U Corsair, Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, Curtiss C-46 Commando, Grumman F4F Wildcats, Grumman TBF Avengers, and an astounding eleven PBJ-1 Mitchell Medium Bombers. The haunting images are accompanied by a text that includes a historical account of the aircraft by military historian Alan Axelrod.

MEET STEVE ZAZULYK
The Ring Finder - How To Make A Profit With Your Metal Detector
Wednesday, 3:00-3:30 PMThursday, 3:00-3:30 PM
Book Description:
Ring finding is one of the most exciting and fascinating hobbies for today's metal detectorists. And if you know what to do, it can be quite lucrative. Written by professional treasure hunter and accomplished ring finder, Steve Zazulyk, this book will walk you through how to take an enjoyable hobby and turn it into a profitable gratuity-based service. Beginners to well-seasoned detectorists will learn what equipment to use, which techniques work best, and how to distinguish the sound of gold from other metals. You will be equipped with the knowledge to navigate through each situation, from advertising your service and growing your client base, to locating the ring, capturing the "moment," and receiving your gratuity. This book is a great resource for the soon-to-be treasure hunters and for those wanting to expand their ring finding skills.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

DEMA Announces Diving Community Champion Awards Recipients

** Diving Community Champion Awards will be presented during the DEMA Membership Meeting held at DEMA Show 2019**
DEMA is proud to announce the Diving Community Champions Honorees for 2019!
Congratulations to 2019 Diving Community Champion Award Recipients:
ScubaRadio is a radio talk show with a diving theme and provides the forum to connect divers and listeners over stories about the perfect dive, destination, or encounter with some amazing sea creature. ScubaRadio covers all aspects of diving, including the best dive sites, dive gear, live-aboards, shark diving, and much more. Every week thousands of listeners are tuning into ScubaRadio via radio stations scattered throughout the US.
Save Our Leatherbacks Operation (S.O.L.O.) started in 2002 and first focused on the critically endangered Leatherback Sea Turtle. Working on a remote nesting beach in Papua, Indonesia, in partnership with a local subsistence village, S.O.L.O. met its goal to significantly increase this sea turtle’s hatching rate.  More recently, additional marine environmental projects within S.O.L.O.’s foundation structure have focused on clean up campaigns which have spawned more local community activity to help reduce marine litter.
2019 Silver Winner: Deep Sea Valkyries
Founded in 2014, Deep Sea Valkyries utilizes recreational scuba diving as an alternative form of therapy to injured veterans as a method to combat veteran suicide and enhance lives post-service. The veterans who participate in the program show a marked improvement in their quality of life and mental health. Since completing the program, past participants have gone back to school, given back to their community and other veterans through volunteer work, checked themselves into inpatient programs to get clean of the myriad of medications prescribed by the VA, and most importantly, continued to dive.
A complete list of finalists and their nomination submissions can be found online here.
DEMA’s objectives in creating this program include recognizing DEMA Member companies who are giving back to their communities and society through recreational diving and making these community efforts known to the general public.  DEMA Members could view the nominees and cast their votes through DEMA.org.
The Diving Community Champion Awards will be presented during the DEMA Membership Meeting held at DEMA Show 2019 on November 14, 2019.