Celebrating Seagrass

The benefits of protecting seagrass cannot be overstated. Seagrass purifies the water, helps protect against coastal erosion, helps sustain small-scale fisheries that support communities, and increases fish populations and biodiversity. It sequesters much more carbon per area than terrestrial forests and reduces ocean acidification. Healthy seagrass means a healthier ocean.

bonnethead shark amid seagrass

Seeking an Octopus in the Wild

Octopuses hole up in small dens, are quite excellent at camouflage and are most active at night, so not all divers have seen one on a dive. But biologist Matthew Birk, who studies octopuses, felt that never having seen one in the wild was a blemish on his career and sought to remedy the situation on a trip to Santa Catalina Island off Southern California.

Shore Thing

Aside from allowing me to avoid that sunrise alarm, shore diving offers other freedoms as well: the last-minute choice of a dive site, the ability to do a two-hour dive without worrying a boat crew and the liberty to add a dive to my day if conditions allow. As an added benefit, beach diving can be quite economical compared with boat diving. And some of the most incredible sites in the world are most easily dived from the beach

divers learning shore diving basics along rocky coastline

A Voice for the Ocean

Annie Crawley and her dive team of kids and teens are among the divers who frequent the Edmonds Underwater Park marine protected area just north of Seattle, Washington, in the Puget Sound area of the Salish Sea. With drysuits on and cameras in hand, the young ocean explorers document the underwater world with Crawley as their mentor and guide. Their mission: be a voice for the ocean.

It Can Happen to Anyone

My buddy and I ascended to 20 feet for our safety stop. As soon as we surfaced I thought I saw the boat moving away from me but quickly realized I was disoriented. It felt like vertigo, but I managed to get on board the boat. I removed my gear and was talking to my buddy when I started involuntarily leaning forward until I lost my balance and collapsed face-down on the deck. I felt paralyzed and couldn’t get up.

two men smile in front of a hyperbaric chamber

Gar Waterman: The Sea Slug Sculptor

Known for their striking colors, patterns and forms, nudibranchs are found in seas all over the world. Sculptor Gar Waterman’s fascination with these sea slugs extends beyond his aesthetic appreciation for their unique, organic form. Because most nudibranchs have a life span of less than a year and adapt rapidly to changes in their environment, they help scientists understand the impact of global warming on ocean health. With each nudibranch that he has cut, chiseled and polished from stone, Waterman hopes to communicate their quirky beauty and scientific role.

Introduction to Swim Fitness

Swimming is a noncontact physical activity that lets you be socially distant while still receiving many health benefits. Exercising in water can increase cardiac function, reduce blood pressure and improve muscle blood flow, respiratory function and brain function. Water reduces joint impact, so you can do high-intensity exercise with little to no discomfort from impact. Swimming targets your entire body and allows a greater range of motion for joints than land-based exercise. Blood flows more freely to your upper body, while the water supports you and lowers gravity’s impact.

DAN DISPATCH: DAN Summer Research Internship

More than 100 interns over 20 years have participated in DAN’s internship programs, working with established mentors in research, risk mitigation or medicine to gain knowledge and valuable professional experience while contributing to DAN operations. This year five interns traveled to Durham, North Carolina, to participate in the program.

PFO Concerns in Dive Injury Treatment

If the diver is symptomatic and you are rendering care, then you need to treat the symptoms. Give them the highest concentration of oxygen available, and get them to definitive health care and treatment. Remember that many conditions show symptoms that may mimic DCS. Just because someone was diving does not mean they have a dive-related illness. When creating your emergency action plan, note the location of the nearest emergency room or where and how to access local emergency services.

PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT: DAN Courses 3.0 Update

You are on the boat after a great dive when a buddy team surfaces, and one of them calls out for help. The boat crew helps get the distressed diver on board. Would you know what to do next? Whatever your level of dive training, or even if you are a nondiver dealing with an incident on land, DAN’s first aid training can help you know what to do and how to do it.