So far this partnership has resulted in the training of 25 Open Water Divers from the group of volunteers, 6 advanced certifications, 5 Rescue divers, 5 Master divers, and 1 Divemaster, creating future stewards of the oceans.
A scuba diving shop, a Boys and Girls Club, and a sea turtle conservation group formed a partnership. With one common goal in mind, that partnership grew into a family of divers who were proud to spread their cause: To promote and educate their local community, with the hopes of creating a group of individuals whom are dedicated to conserving and preserving the waters of our planet.
Rum Runner Dive Shop has been in the Greenville/Winterville, North Carolina, USA area for over 40 years. Throughout their many years in business Rum Runner has formed a very large and loyal customer base, which they would consider nothing less than family. Two members of that dive family, a father and daughter combo, created a local organization with the idea of informing the public about the alarming drop in sea turtle population off the NC coast. Their goal was to reduce the pollution in our local rivers, which run directly to the coast, by informing the citizens in the local community. What they’ve created since then, has been nothing shy of a savior for our planet’s waterways. That organization is the Love a Sea Turtle (L.A.S.T.) volunteer group.
When Rum Runner and LAST began working together things started to quickly fall in place, creating an ideal opportunity for expansion. The Pitt County Boys and Girls club started working very closely with both, resulting in one of the best summer camp programs in the state. The LAST volunteers dedicate at least 5 days a week for about 3 months each summer to run the many different camps. The camps are used to inform children and young teens about nature, land or underwater habitats, and outdoor activities for kids who wouldn’t normally have that opportunity. Each activity is taught with the goal of promoting conservation. Once each camp is nearing the end, Rum Runner Dive Shop and the LAST volunteers take each group of campers to the coast for a short boat ride to the Rachel Carson Nature Preserve. While there the campers are able to experience the undisturbed beaches, snorkel with the schools of fish, and even Try-Scuba in the pools of sea water at high tide. The state and national recognition of these camps have resulted in the appearances from famous guest speakers, special trips to help build reefs, and much more.
Rum Runner and Love a Sea Turtle continue to build on what they started, and in return help each other grow. So far this partnership has resulted in the training of 25 Open Water Divers from the group of volunteers, 6 advanced certifications, 5 Rescue divers, 5 Master divers, and 1 Divemaster, creating future stewards of the oceans.
Listed below are just of the few projects and/or opportunities that Rum Runner Dive Shop and the Love a Sea Turtle group have had the pleasure of being a part of:
Editor's Note: We thank Rum Runner Dive Shop for their continued support and dedication to cultivating the next generation of NAUI Green Divers. Learn more about RRDS by visiting www.rumrunnerdiveshop.com.
You can help support programs just like RRDS by making a donation the NAUI Green Diver Initiative - empowering individuals to conserve and preserve our ocean planet.
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