Tuesday, October 13, 2020

DEMA Backs Great American Outdoors Act

 With backing from DEMA and other outdoor recreation associations, the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) was signed into law on August 4th by President Trump. The original bill was sponsored by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), and co-sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of 59 other Senators, and it passed the Senate by a broad bipartisan vote of 73-25. The bill also passed in the House with another bipartisan vote of 310-107.

GAOA fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at a level of $900 million annually and addresses the approximately $20 billion maintenance backlog on federal public lands through a new "National Parks and Public Lands Legacy Restoration Fund.” The bill helps address priority repairs in national parks and on other public lands by directing up to $9.5 billion over five years to address maintenance needs within the National Park System, other public land agencies, and Bureau of Indian Education schools. It will also fully and permanently commit $900 million per year to the Land and Water Conservation Fund to ensure protection of, and access to, irreplaceable lands, waters and local recreation opportunities.

GAOA helps fund maintenance and conservation for diving areas in national parks such as:

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

DEMA Publishes Most Recent Dive Consumer Survey Data


** Reports Help Members Understand Current Customer Behaviors and Activities **

In late 2019, DEMA launched the 2019 Diver Online Survey with the goal of updating demographics and psychographics of divers everywhere. DEMA and industry professionals asked diving customers both within the U.S. and internationally to participate.

More than 9,700 divers responded to the survey, with almost 1,000 coming from Canada, almost 5,000 from the US, and the remainder from countries across the globe. The survey requested activity information from respondents through 2019 and into the first quarter of 2020, and as such does not reflect the full impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The survey specifically probed information about diving consumer “behaviors” and activities to help the diving industry understand more about these aspects of the recreational diver market. 

Two data sets are currently available with a third to be released in the coming weeks: An “All Countries” data set includes all 9,700 responses from every location, and a data set that includes only the U.S. is also available. The third data set will include only information from Canada.

DEMA extends its thanks to the DEMA-Member companies who helped obtain participation by their customers in order to obtain this important information.  With an estimated 5 - 6 million active scuba divers worldwide, the large sample size is helpful in obtaining the clearest picture possible for the state of the market.

The reports are available free to all DEMA Members, and can be purchased by non-members for $249.00 each. Members can obtain their free report by logging into their account on DEMA.org and downloading the report found under the "Market Research & Insights" section of their DEMA Member Dashboard.  Non-members can order their report here.

DEMA Board of Directors to Meet This Week

DEMA’s 2020 Board of Directors will convene during a conference call on October 2nd to discuss ways to help engage with the Industry and maximize DEMA’s benefits for Members.

The Board meeting will begin by voting to approve the “consent agenda,” a Robert’s Rules of Order device used to obtain “general consent” intended to expedite approval of routine items. The Board is provided consent agenda items in advance of the Board Meeting. This allows Board Members to study the documents in detail prior to the meeting so that the Board can spend its limited meeting time discussing forward-thinking items; policy and strategic issues that demand its attention.

For October’s meeting, consent agenda items include:

  • Public Policy Committee Report
  • DEMA Show Online Report
  • Membership Report
  • Financial Update
  • August 14, 2020 Board Meeting Minutes

The Board will use meeting time to discuss the DEMA Show Online Education Series , happening now through November 20, 2020 as well as the four-day virtual trade show taking place November 17-20, 2020. The Board will also discuss plans for DEMA Show 2021 scheduled for November 16-19, 2021 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. The conference call will conclude with the Board covering any new business or consent agenda items that may require further discussion.

More information on DEMA’s Board of Directors and Bylaws is available on the DEMA website. Complete minutes from past Board of Directors Meetings are available to current DEMA Members from the Member Dashboard of www.dema.org. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

U.S. Federal Bill Supporting 529 Plans for Professional Certification

You may be aware of a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives (HR 5339) and its companion bill in the U.S. Senate (S 379) which would amend IRS regulations and which could have a direct financial impact on those wishing to earn professional certification (e.g., become diving instructors) and those wishing to continue their professional certification education and training. These bills are of direct interest to the diving industry as they would permit the use of 529 savings accounts to pay for such training and certification, including renewals.

A 529 plan is a college savings plan that currently offers tax and financial aid benefits. In addition to college tuition, 529 plans may also be used to save and invest for K-12 tuition. Although contributions are not deductible, earnings in a 529 plan grow federal tax-free and will not be taxed when the money is taken out to pay for college. There are additional benefits available for use with private, public, or religious elementary and secondary schools as well as for student loan payments and some apprenticeship programs. The bills under consideration in the U.S. House and Senate would add professional certification to the list of items for which these 529 plans could be used.

DEMA is supporting these bills and is asking for your support as well. DEMA’s letter to the House leadership and other congressional members can be found here. DEMA is requesting that members of the House sign on as sponsors for HR 3779, and members of the Senate sign on to S 379.

You can use DEMA’s suggested letter template on which to model comments and request support from your representative in the House as well as your Senator.

To locate and contact your member of the House and Senate, click on the links below and insert your address and zip code. You’ll be able to send an email or a letter by post.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

DEMA Board of Directors Election Slate Announced

** Deadline to Petition for a Write-In Candidate is October 12, 2020 **

The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association is pleased to announce the candidates for the 2021-2023 DEMA Board of Directors Election:


  • Craig Lees, Suunto 
  • Jenna Meistrell, Body Glove 


  • Jeff Mondle, PADI Americas


  • Jerry Beaty, Dive Training Magazine 
  • Jeffrey Bozanic, Next Generation Services 
  • Larry McKenna, Save our Leatherbacks Operation (S.O.L.O.)
  • Dan Orr, Dan Orr Consulting


  • Merial Currer, Patriot Scuba 
  • Patrick Hammer, Dive Right in Scuba, Inc.
  • Richard Thomas, International Scuba  


  • Bradley Barnett, Clearly Cayman Dive Resorts 
  • Karolin Troubetzkoy, Anse Chastanet/Scuba St. Lucia 
DEMA Members interested in being added to the ballot through the write-in process must complete the nominee request and petition signed by a minimum of 2% of the Membership voting power or by 10 Regular (Class A) voting Members of the Association, whichever is less by 4:00 pm Pacific Time October 12, 2020. Write-in candidates and those petitioning for them must be current 2020 DEMA Members AND must be renewed for 2021 Membership by the date of record for the election (January 18, 2021).

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

DEMA Show Online Registration & Exhibit Sales are Now Open

 ** DEMA Members Save on DEMA Show Online Registration **

DEMA Show Online is now open offering big opportunities for attendees to learn, see the latest products and services, and buy from their favorite (or new) exhibitors. More than 80% of DEMA Show attendees are looking to evaluate new products and services, and almost 70% visit DEMA Show for educational programs from DEMA and participating exhibitors. DEMA Show Online brings attendees and exhibitors together online to learn, connect and grow our industry through an on-going virtual education series and a four-day virtual trade show and vendor networking event.

DEMA Show Online will feature live learning and on-demand programs as well as exhibitor-sponsored education opportunities. The DEMA Show Online education package provides attendees with a learning subscription offering multiple online moderated workshops, taught by business pros. These experts show you how to grow your business, obtain more customers and use the best of marketing. DEMA education team guests go live following each session to answer question about their topic or others in an “open-forum” style question and answer session. Education subscribers will also receive on-demand access to all the DEMA Show Online presentations through the remainder of 2020.

Join a community of professionals just like you! You don’t need to go it alone. Get support and connect with your peers via our professional community. Not only will you stay informed as news breaks, but you’ll gain access to a supportive group of professionals solving problems, just like you. Make valuable connections or ask questions you have. Peers and fellow members will help you tackle your challenges!

To register as an attendee, become a DEMA Show Online exhibitor or learn more, visit the official DEMA Show website. To have DEMA Show Online news delivered directly to your email, make sure you are subscribed to our emails! Exhibitors should also subscribe to the Show’s Exhibitor Companion. Attendees are encouraged to subscribe to DEMAIL for important Show information, announcements, and Industry news.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

DEMA Opens Nominations for the 2020 Diving Community Champion Awards

 ** Deadline to submit a nomination is Monday, September 14, 2020 **

DEMA’s 2020 Diving Community Champions Awards will once again recognize the good works of DEMA-Member companies and showcase the recreational diving community to the general public.  All DEMA-Member companies are eligible to submit a nomination to recognize other DEMA Members, and honorees will be recognized during DEMA Show Online.

This year, 2020 has presented the industry and diving community with various health and social issues, and the 2020 Diving Community Champions Awards aims to recognize DEMA Member companies who have found unique ways to give back to their communities and society through recreational diving during these unprecedented times.

Nominations for the Diving Community Champion Awards are open now, until September 14, 2020.  Nominations can be submitted by any current DEMA Member company, and nominees must be current A-class DEMA Members.  For more information and to submit a nomination, click here.