Thursday, February 23, 2017

DEMA Introduces 2017 Board of Directors

The results of DEMA's 2017 Board of Directors Election are in! Members of DEMA's 2017 Board of Directors include the following individuals:
A1-ManufacturingMike Hollis, American Underwater Products*
A2-Diver Certification and Training AgenciesDallas, Edmiston, NAUI*
Kristin Valette, PADI
A3-Dive Publishing, Media, Consulting and Non-Retail Service ProvidersWilliam Cline, Cline Group Advertising, Inc.
Dan Orr, Dan Orr Consulting*
A4-RetailersPatrick Hammer, Scuba Emporium**
Myra Kurn, Ocean Enterprises, Inc.*
A5-Travel & ResortsStuart Cove, Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas*Tim Webb, Caradonna Dive Adventures
*New/Re-elected members
**Indicates a one-year term after which Board member may run to serve a full three-year term.
In accordance with the DEMA Bylaws, Directors serve three-year terms. Additional information on DEMA's Board of Directors and Bylaws is available online.  The election was conducted by CPA firm, Gray, Proctor & McMannis, based in Newport Beach, CA. All A-category DEMA members who had joined or renewed their DEMA Membership for 2017 by 1/6/17 were eligible to vote in this election. The final vote count is available for DEMA Members who are logged into the Members-Only Dashboard of www.dema.org.
Congratulations to all of DEMA's Directors!  In the coming weeks, the Board will meet to conduct officer elections, form committees and select individuals to chair them.  Contact us at toll free (800) 862-DIVE (3483), (858) 616-6408 or info@dema.org if you have any questions or are interested in serving on one of the DEMA Board committees. Additional Committee information can be found online here. Thank you for your continued support!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Know of an Excellent Speaker? Encourage Them to Submit an Application to Become a Speaker at DEMA Show 2017!


DEMA is requesting proposals for speaker submissions to fill the DEMA-Sponsored Education schedule for DEMA Show 2017, taking place November 1-4 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Deadline for submissions is March 15, 2017. 

Complete speaker information, submission guidelines and the official application link can be found on the DEMA Show website. Please note: If you have submitted an abstract in the past you can use the same login created then. If you are a new applicant please click on "SUBMIT ABSTRACT" then Create a "new account".



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New Promotional Images Just Added to the Go Dive Now Member Toolkit!

DEMA has just added new Go Dive Now promotional images to the Go Dive Now Member Toolkit. These exciting new images were donated by fellow industry professionals to the Go Dive Now campaign and are FREE for DEMA Members to download. They are a great way to promote the ease (and fun!) of becoming a certified diver. Entice potential customers with this captivating imagery on your website, throughout your social media pages, and within your emails.

Log in today to access these and other free Go Dive Now campaign resources!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

YOUR COMMENTS AND HELP ARE NEEDED: Submit Comments Regarding Port Everglades Dredging Project

In the wake of the  Port Everglades dredging delay, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is encouraging the public to provide input as part of an updated analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the Port Everglades navigation improvements project. These meetings come in part because the Corps has delayed the start of the dredging project until a new environmental study is completed.  The new environmental study is being conducted as a response to a federal lawsuit filed by DEMA, along with several environmental organizations, requesting the new environmental studies be completed before the planned dredging project to expand Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL commences. 

 An open comment period started in late September and will end March 24, 2017.
The Corps’ Jacksonville District and Port Everglades will host two scoping meetings:

  • February 22 at 2:00 p.m.
  • February 22 at 6:00 p.m.
Both meetings will take plan in Hall B, rooms 113/114 at the Broward County Convention Center 1950 Eisenhower Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL. 33316. Sign-in and poster sessions start at 2 and 6 p.m., with presentations at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. respectively, followed by a question and comment period. The Corps will share new information and address all submitted written comments in a draft supplemental NEPA document.
DEMA asks that all members of the diving community attend one of these scoping meetings, or submit written comments in favor of the new study, citing the value of the reefs to divers, diving businesses and the entire community, and including data on the need to protect the living coral reef.
Members of the Diving Community unable to attend a meeting can send comments directly to terri.jordan-sellers@usace.army.mil or:Jacksonville District Corps of Engineers
Attn: Planning Division - Terri Jordan Sellers
701 San Marco BoulevardJacksonville, FL 32207-8175
Your comments should be copied to publicpolicy@dema.org. DEMA will also submit written comments directly to the Corps.
All Port Everglades documents are located at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Navigation/Navigation-Projects/Port-Everglades/.
The Corps has agreed to reassess its Port Everglades environmental analysis because of new environmental information available about the widespread and unanticipated damage incurred during a similar dredging project at nearby PortMiami and new, local coral species recently added to the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) list.
In Miami, the dredging proved disastrous for the coral reefs in the area. For the PortMiami project, the Corps had assumed there would be minimal impacts to coral, but instead fine-grained sediment from the project harmed tens of thousands of coral colonies and over 250 acres of reef designated as “critical habitat” for the ESA-listed staghorn corals. The National Marine Fisheries Service assessed the area and determined that 95% of the surveyed reef is no longer suitable habitat for corals, and some of the damaged reef will never recover naturally.
The Port Everglades dredging, which was planned to begin in 2017, is now expected to be on hold until at least 2019 while the new environmental analyses are conducted.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Port Everglades Expansion Dredging Delayed

** Corps Commits to Conduct New Environmental Studies Before Port Everglades Expansion Dredging Begins **

In response to a federal lawsuit filed by DEMA, along with several environmental organizations, the US Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to conduct new environmental studies before starting its planned dredging project to expand Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  DEMA and the additional environmental organizations, filed suit in federal court in Southern Florida in August, 2016 seeking protections for coral reefs in the Fort Lauderdale area. The corals in and around Port Everglades are threatened by the proposed port expansion project which was initiated to make way for larger, Panama-canal sized vessels. 

While the Corps conducts new studies, plaintiffs, DEMA and a group of environmental organizations have agreed to put a temporary hold on their federal Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act lawsuit over the planned dredging. The Corps’ dredging plan failed to account for damage to nearby, fragile coral reefs.

The Corps has agreed to reassess its Port Everglades environmental analysis because of new environmental information available about the widespread and unanticipated damage incurred during a similar dredging project at nearby PortMiami and new, local coral species recently added to the federal Endangered Species Act list.

In Miami, the dredging proved disastrous for the coral reefs in the area. For the PortMiami project, the Corps had assumed there would be minimal impacts to coral, but instead fine-grained sediment from the project harmed tens of thousands of coral colonies and over 250 acres of reef designated as “critical habitat” for the ESA-listed staghorn corals. The National Marine Fisheries Service assessed the area and determined that 95% of the surveyed reef is no longer suitable habitat for corals, and some of the damaged reef will never recover naturally.

“The devastating coral damage discovered after the PortMiami dredging gives us all pause. It is a good reason for the Corps to go back to the drawing board and learn from its mistakes in Miami,” said Brettny Hardy, an attorney at Earthjustice, lawyers for plaintiffs in the case. “Under the law, a proper analysis must be done before further taxpayer dollars are spent on this potentially devastating project.”

The Port Everglades dredging, which was planned to begin in 2017, is now expected to be on hold until at least 2019 while the new environmental analyses are conducted.

“The Corps’ and NMFS’ prior environmental analyses simply ignored evidence from PortMiami that showed estimated impacts from dredging near corals are significantly more harmful and widespread than expected.” said Rachel Silverstein, executive director and waterkeeper of Miami Waterkeeper. “The current environmental statements do not reflect ‘best available science’, which is the legal standard for agency decision-making, and therefore, they must be redone.”

“Coral and coastal Floridians will benefit from the Corps pumping the brakes on this massive project,” said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We have to learn from our mistakes and do what’s right for our irreplaceable coastal resources.”

“We will remain vigilant as this process moves forward to ensure full compliance with the law and protection of our irreplaceable coral reefs,” said Manley Fuller, president of the Florida Wildlife Federation.

Each year, snorkeling and scuba diving in Florida account for almost 9 million visitor-days, create almost 30,000 full-time equivalent tourism-related jobs, and contribute hundreds of millions of dollars directly to the Florida economy.

“The reefs provide huge environmental and economic benefits to South Florida. This is a positive step for the entire recreational diving community, especially in Fort Lauderdale, which depends upon a healthy reef environment” said Tom Ingram, President and CEO of DEMA. “DEMA is determined to help protect the natural reef from destruction so that many generations to come can continue to enjoy the opportunity to see, first-hand, this unique and precious natural resource.”

Earthjustice is representing Miami Waterkeeper, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Florida Wildlife Federation, and the Diving Equipment and Manufacturing Association (DEMA). Jim Porter of James M. Porter, P.A. is representing Miami Waterkeeper. Bob Harris of Messer Caparello, P.A is representing DEMA in the lawsuit.

The Corps will hold two public meetings to explore the scope of the project. The meetings are at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Feb. 22 at Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, 33316. Public presentations are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., with a Q&A period to follow. Anyone with questions about the meetings should contact Terri Jordan-Sellers at (904) 232-1817 or at Terri.Jordan-Sellers@usace.army.mil.

Friday, January 20, 2017

DEMA Sponsored Education Sessions Now Available Online!


DEMA Show Attendees who purchased a DEMA Show Seminar Package now have access to all 24 video recordings of the DEMA Sponsored Education Sessions. These recorded sessions are the perfect opportunity to revisit your favorite session or watch one you weren't able to attend. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

DEMA's Post-Show Surveys Help Improve DEMA Show for Years to Come

**DEMA Show 2016 Attendees and Exhibitors are Asked to Provide Feedback on Their Show Experience**
Every year, DEMA Show provides numerous opportunities for Attendees and Exhibitors to do great business together by providing hundreds of exhibits, products, services, educational sessions and more. Now, DEMA is asking for DEMA Show Attendees and Exhibitors to provide their feedback and ideas to help take DEMA Show to the next level! 
Input from Attendees and Exhibitors is invaluable as it helps the Association create a better Show in the years to come. Past feedback has helped guide the Association when developing features and content, evaluating speakers and contractors and choosing housing, transportation and other venue offerings. DEMA asks all 2016 Attendees and Exhibitors to complete the Post-DEMA Show Survey via the links below:
DEMA Show 2016 Attendees are invited to provide their feedback on the Show here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DS16Attendee
DEMA Show 2016 Exhibitors are also invited to provide their feedback on the Show here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DS16Exhibitor
Deadline to submit your feedback is January 31, 2017. All participants who complete the survey and provide complete contact information will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card and receive a DEMA Show 2016 t-shirt (while supplies last; one shirt per respondent). Those providing their home address will be entered into a second drawing for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card.
As a non-profit organization, DEMA uses the resources generated by DEMA Show to fund research, legislative scanning and advocacy, education and more.  DEMA extends its THANKS to the entire Industry for helping to make DEMA Show a continuing success! DEMA Show will return to Orlando, FL in 2017 from November 1-4.