Well, we are in a new year and it is already looking busy for WSA. The end of the month will have a couple of us down in Olympia at what is being called "Big Tent Day" where a number of outdoor interest groups and corporations which promote outdoor activities (REI, etc….) will be trying to convince our legislators to spend money on things like parks and tourism. The Washington State Department of Tourism is no longer with us. The state decided that it was a organization that could be scrapped to save a few bucks. Currently, Washington State is the only state that does not have a tourism department.
Also, as mentioned in my last letter, Washington State Parks wants to partner up with us and put in several more artificial reefs at some of their waterfront locations. We are continuing to support efforts at Saltwater State Park and Alki Cove 2. The Giant Pacific Octopus Initiative is still moving forward and will include several more dive sites. We have 5 mooring buoys left to install in the Puget Sound / Hood Canal. We are still working on seeing about sinking a ferry up in Port Angeles.
One thing that Washington Scuba Alliance needs the most is your support. We need it in the form of funds to support our ongoing projects as well as volunteering to do the projects, become an active member on our board of directors or be a project manager of a project that means something to you.
Last but not least is our new "Dive Into Washington" (DIW) program where WSA working with a number of area dive shops has created a new contest where divers earn a ticket for each dive that a dive shop sponsors and the shop signs off and stamps a divers log book as it being a DIW dive. This in turn will make the divers eligible for a number of prizes at the year end banquet. There is no minimum number of dives but, the more DIW dives that are made means the more chances to win prizes. What this program does is puts the divers into dive shops more and promotes better retail sales for the dive shop owners. We expect this to be a success and for the first year a valuable learning experience to make following years even more successful.
I strongly feel that WSA will be called upon to do more for the dive community this year and help support tourism and the divers of the Northwest.
Updated Jan. 28, 2013
Scott's speech concerning the protection of GPO's to WDFW is below.
Good morning. My name is Scott Lundy, and I am a UW graduate student, local diving instructor, and The Director of Conservation at the Washington Scuba Alliance. Today I want to tell you a story. This story is not about two young men who legally harvested a giant pacific octopus from the state's most popular dive site, nor is it about the uncontrolled media blitz that followed. No, this story is about a dive community who recognized the lack of protection for one of our region's most iconic species, and in mere days organized to unprecedented levels in order to be here today and present our case. Our primary goal today is simple; the population of Giant Pacific Octopus at Alki Seacrest Park is unique and fragile and must be protected.
Who we are Clark County Dive Rescue local 501-C-3 we have been in existence since 1983 and most dive shop don't know what we do or who we are. We need your help with the state of this country and Pacifica NW we see ourself as a need for small township with out the budget for a team. We are asking for dive shop, groups and clubs if they could support us and pass the word about us. CCDR asking the local's for that chain letter, to find others who want to give a little help or support this year we could use it. We need for you to take the below letter and copy and past to your Web site, Facebook, Twitter, Group email, divers news letters and more hang it in your stores any and all help will move us and keep this resource alive.
Wayne Slates Tender/Diver
WSA VP Jim Trask has been extremely busy finalizing the plans for the mooring buoy project he's been working on for years. The final permits have been granted, and while some money has been gathered, Jim is still searching for more funding.
While mooring buoys serve the obvious purpose of giving boat divers and charters a safe, secure place to tie up, and accurate placement of divers on the reef, they also help the environment and local habitat by helping boaters avoid damaging sensitive marine life every time they drop anchor at a popular dive site. Read more...