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Stellwagen Bank Volunteer Divers Recognized
by National Marine Sanctuary Office
3-1-2001

contact: Anne Smrcina, 781-545-8026, ext. 204

BOSTON -- The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary's volunteer dive team members will receive the first ever Team Ocean - Champions of the Blue/Team Ocean Recognition Awards from the National Marine Sanctuary Office at the annual Boston Sea Rovers Clinic on March 3. This new program recognizes the efforts and achievements of volunteers serving the 13 sites in the marine sanctuary system.

The Stellwagen Bank volunteers, all highly skilled divers based in communities from Braintree to Plymouth, have formed the first official sanctuary dive team. Organized two years ago, the team has assisted in the photodocumentation of local marine biodiversity, research cruises, and shipwrecks. All team members have received NOAA science diver certifications.

"What is truly remarkable about this team," notes Sanctuary Superintendent Craig MacDonald, "is the depth of experience of its members and their dedication to the Sanctuary's goals of marine resource protection. We are extremely fortunate to have such a highly skilled volunteer force ready and able to assist us in so many ways."

Volunteer dive team leader Bob Michelson, a professional underwater photographer and videographer from Braintree, has been a key player in the development of the team and in the production of educational support materials for the sanctuary. He has been assisted by team member Douglas Costa, a PADI Master Instructor and Manager at Diver's Market Scuba Center in Plymouth, Mass, Rounding out the Stellwagen Bank Sanctuary volunteer dive team are Stephen Neuger, a PADI Assistant Instructor and Rob Murray, a PADI Dive Master.

The team has combined training and experience in photo/videography, archeological research, search & recovery, wreck, deep, mixed gas, and cave diving. Each diver assists with cross-training the other members so that the entire team benefits from this breadth of expertise.

The Team Ocean Diver Recognition Certificates will be presented to the team on Sat., March 3 during an 11-11:45am Sanctuary-sponsored seminar at the Sea Rovers Annual Underwater Clinic at the Copley Plaza Hotel.

The Boston Sea Rovers is one of the country's oldest and most prestigious dive clubs; this is their 47th annual underwater clinic and show.

The Gerry E. Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is one of 13 sites in the National Marine Sanctuary System. This historically important fishing ground and prime whalewatching site was designated a National Marine Sanctuary in 1992. The 842-square-mile site is located at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay between Cape Ann and Cape Cod; its headquarters are located in Scituate, Mass.

 

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