president's waves

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  • May 01, 2021 5:17 PM | Chris Hardham (Administrator)

    I hope that as many people as possible helped to preserve the fauna at the Blue Heron Bridge last month. We all benefit from the great variety that live in this unique location.

    This month I would like to ask you to consider attending The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will have hearings on May 12 and 13. These sessions are virtual https://myfwc.com/about/commission/commission-meetings/may-2021/

    May 12 Goliath Grouper. Staff will provide a review and discussion of goliath grouper, including biology, updates on ongoing research, and stakeholder opinions. Staff will seek Commission approval on next steps for goliath management in state waters, including whether to prepare a draft rule for limited harvest. Public comment on this agenda item will be limited to no more than 2 hours.
    Summary Memo | Presentation

    On May 13 the meeting will continue with a session on Lobster mini season that many of our Members may want to attend as well.

    May 13 Spiny Lobster Mini-Season. Staff will provide a presentation on Florida’s recreational two-day spiny lobster mini-season, with a special focus on Monroe County and the Florida Keys. Topics will include management history and recent stakeholder requests related to management in Monroe County. Public comment on this agenda item will be limited to no more than 1 hour.
    Summary Memo | Presentation

    Both of these sessions are virtual, so if you have the time and desire, I hope you are able to attend.

  • March 29, 2021 6:13 PM | Chris Hardham (Administrator)

    This month we have a unique opportunity to help preserve a unique diving site, the Blue Heron Bridge. Roger was kind enough to share an email with us asking us to email Riviera Beach District 4 Councilwoman Dr. Julia Botel. We as divers need to be vocal on this subject as the bridge is a very special place. We have gotten used to being able to see marine life that we don’t see local otherwise, so we need to preserve this special habit for future divers and the people that travel from around the county to come and see these special animals in our backyard. The email for Dr Botel is jbotel@rivierabeach.org. Please include any details you wish about businesses you frequent or friends and family that travel to the area to spend money in Riviera Beach. We need to keep the bridge free of fisher people for our safety and the variety that of marine life that lives there.

    Now that I have gotten this subject out of the way, I am excited for warmer water coming and being able to travel to dive now that so many people are getting their vaccines and Florida is opening up for almost everybody.

    I hope to see as many members as possible for our general membership meeting in a couple of days. Rick Dayan as usual has lined up an exciting speaker. Katharine Evans is one of the founders of Marine Conservation Costa Rica, a non-profit located on the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Katharine is the lead biologist on MCCR's coral restoration project and also the intern and education coordinator.


  • February 27, 2021 8:37 PM | Chris Hardham (Administrator)

    March is here already, this year is flying by. It is good to see the progress for a return to somewhat normal, each meeting it is great to hear of more members getting vaccinated. Plus it is encouraging to see so many members planning for dive travel again. 

    It is good to see how many people are reserving to join the monthly meeting, we have had some great speakers so far this year and this month looks to be the same.

    Alan Feuerman has been working on some good ideas for virtual social events, if you have any ideas, please share them with Alan. While virtual events aren't as fun they are what we have for now.

    If you would like to view free Zoom tutorials, you can find them here. Or you can take a free Zoom class from Geeks On Tour here.

    Don't forget to keep checking our Facebook page for the interesting articles Russ is posting. https://www.facebook.com/usadiveclub

    Happy diving,

    Chris Hardham
    President

  • January 31, 2021 8:17 AM | Chris Hardham (Administrator)

    Welcome to February everybody. During our social conversations before the last Membership meeting it was promising to hear how many of our members have received vaccines and them sharing tips for others to get theirs, hopefully we will be able to semi return to a more social lifestyle.

    During our January Board Meeting, we confirmed the following appointed positions:

    • Hospitality                  Clare Anthon
    • Membership                Stephanie Voris
    • Newsletter                   Roger Cooper
    • Education Coord         Howard Ratsch
    • Historian                     Robert Shearer
    • Photographer              Laura Moran
    • Social Media               Russ Manhold
    • Photo Gallery Coord    Julia Manhold

    The board has approved Club Rules update as proposed by the Membership Committee

    ARTICLE II: APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP

    Section 1: Applications for membership must be submitted along with annual dues, a signed Membership Agreement, and proof of certification from a globally recognized S.C.U.B.A. diving certification training agency.

    Section 2: All dues and/or fees shall be established by the Board of Directors.

    Section 3: Applications for membership shall be reviewed and approved by a committee designated by the Board of Directors.

    Please follow our Social Media and webpage for updates during the month. We would love to hear suggestions for ways to celebrate the club's 50th anniversary this year.

  • January 30, 2021 10:35 AM | Roger Cooper (Administrator)

    I hope everybody had a HAPPY HOLIDAYS and look forward to many improvements in 2021, especially compared to 2020.

    I look forward to seeing everybody as the January General Membership meeting January 7 at 7:00 with social time starting at 6:45.

    I would like to thank everybody for your vote of confidence in electing me president for the upcoming year. I look forward to working with the Board and Membership to keep improving our club as much as possible.

    Earlier this year, the Board of Directors decided to extend memberships through 2021 due to restrictions on our activities caused by the pandemic. While current members will not be required to pay dues for 2021, the Club would be happy to accept donations from any member willing to donate their dues amount to help keep the Club going. Please use Zelle to send donations to treasurer@usadiveclub.org. 

    If you would like to view free Zoom tutorials, you can find them here. Or you can take a free Zoom class from Geeks On Tour here.

    Don't forget to keep checking our Facebook page for the interesting articles Howard is posting. https://www.facebook.com/usadiveclub

    Happy diving,

    Chris Hardham
    President



  • November 21, 2020 12:55 PM | Roger Cooper (Administrator)
    Please attend our General Meeting in December to participate in the annual election. Due to the ongoing pandemic, this December we will have a General Meeting over Zoom rather than having a Christmas party. Hopefully next year we can all get a vaccine and start getting back together in person again.

    Club Bylaws require that the Board’s proposed slate of officers be presented to you in the two newsletters before the election.  Presented for your consideration are the following:

     President:  Chris Hardham
     VP Programs:  Rick Dayan
     VP Overseas Diving:  Nils Jacobsen
     VP Local Diving:  Ryan Goheen
     VP Social:  Alan Feuerman
     Secretary:  Amy Wellman
     Treasurer:  Ronnie Farr

    Anyone interested in running for an elected position on the Board should notify me, either at a General Meeting or by email (president@usadiveclub.org).

    Appointed officers will be selected during the first Board meeting in January.

    Please congratulate Eunice Hamblen for achieving Hall of Fame status. She has put in seven years working as a volunteer on our Board, helping to do the work needed to keep this Club running. Thank you, Eunice.

    Earlier this year, the Board of Directors decided to extend memberships through 2021 due to restrictions on our activities caused by the pandemic. While current members will not be required to pay dues for 2021, the Club would be happy to accept donations from any member willing to donate their dues amount to help keep the Club going. Please use Zelle to send donations to treasurer@usadiveclub.org. Thank you.

  • October 22, 2020 3:25 PM | Roger Cooper (Administrator)

    The Board of Directors has decided to hold the annual election at our General Meeting in December. Yes, this December we will have a General Meeting over Zoom rather than having a Christmas party. Hopefully next year we can all get a vaccine and start getting back together in person again.

    Club Bylaws require that the Board’s proposed slate of officers be presented to you in the two newsletters before the election.  Presented for your consideration are the following:

     President:  Chris Hardham
     VP Programs:  Rick Dayan
     VP Overseas Diving:  Nils Jacobsen
     VP Local Diving:  Ryan Goheen
     VP Social:  Alan Feuerman
     Secretary:  Amy Wellman
     Treasurer:  Ronnie Farr

    Anyone interested in running for an elected position on the Board should notify me, either at a General Meeting or by email (president@usadiveclub.org).

    Appointed officers will be selected during the first Board meeting in January.

  • September 16, 2020 3:52 PM | Roger Cooper (Administrator)

    I have more good news to announce. The proposed bylaws have been approved by over 70% of the 90 members who participated in the recent online vote. Thank you to everyone who voted. This Club has a new set of bylaws that you can see by clicking here.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet virtually Oct. 7 and 8 beginning at 9 a.m. ET each day. The meeting is open to the public. This meeting is being held by communications media technology, specifically using Adobe Connect with a telephone conference line for accepting public comments during the meeting. The Florida Channel will be broadcasting live video coverage at TheFloridaChannel.org and participants watching via the Florida Channel can utilize the telephone conference line to call in for public comment.

    For the full Oct. 7-8 agenda, links to background reports, and ways to participate, go to MyFWC.com/About and click on “The Commission” and “Commission Meetings.”

  • August 25, 2020 1:53 PM | Roger Cooper (Administrator)

    I have good news to announce. The Bylaws Committee has completed their work creating a proposed set of bylaws for the USA Dive Club. Over 75% of the Club's Board of Directors approved the proposed bylaws and the Board has scheduled an online vote by the membership beginning September 4. We will have a question and answer session with the Bylaws Committee at the September 3rd meeting after the speaker's presentation.

    We have created a summary of the changes. Click here to view the summary.

    Click here to view the complete proposed bylaws.

    The biggest change in these proposed bylaws is that members of the Hall of Fame will no longer have lifetime memberships on the Board of Directors. A majority of the Board of Directors, including many members of the Hall of Fame, support this change as the best way to help the Club get and keep volunteers into the future.

    Under the proposed bylaws, members of the Hall of Fame can still be elected and appointed Board members. Currently a number of members of the Hall of Fame hold Board positions, including Clare Anthon, Ronnie Farr, John Ficarra, Ryan Goheen, Nils Jacobsen, Julie Manhold, and Robert Shearer. Therefore, the Hall of Fame will continue to be represented on the Board of Directors.

    The Board of Directors recommends that members vote "Yes" to support the proposed bylaws.

    And, here are two other news items from the Board of Directors.

    • The date of the annual election has been set as December 3. We are not planning to have a Christmas party this year due to the pandemic. Therefore, we will conduct the annual election during a Zoom meeting on December 3.
    • The Board voted to eliminate the $10 initiation fee for new members. This will remove a small barrier to new member applications and has no financial impact on the Club.
  • July 30, 2020 3:58 PM | Roger Cooper (Administrator)

    With the pandemic going on, Club activities have been limited to Zoom meetings for the past few months. It looks like that is going to continue until the pandemic is under control. Therefore, the Board of Directors has decided to extend paid memberships through 2021. Hopefully, we will be able to get back to something closer to normal next year. We currently have three overseas dive trips scheduled in 2021, so we are counting on things improving considerably.

    Also, several months ago the Board decided that newly certified Open Water divers would get their first year of membership free if they apply for membership in our Club within one year of earning their certification. If you know any new divers, this would be a good time for them to join our Club and get a free membership through 2021.

    Some of us are still keeping in touch and going diving together, even though we are not doing official Club trips. Recently we got together to do three shark dives in one day. We went to Jupiter, FL, and were introduced to Jenny the Tiger Shark. Click here to view a video captured by Laura Moran. The video shows the shark circling around in a group of divers. You may think we are petting the shark, but that is not the case. We are redirecting the shark by pushing on the top of its head to keep it from running into us. Laura was behind me, so that is me occasionally blocking the view of the shark.

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