Dive Arkansas

 

 
It might be surprising to learn that there are over 30
different scuba diving spots to explore in the state including clear lakes, scenic rivers and
deep quarries. “I think there are many unaware of how vast the dive community
is in Arkansas,” said Terri Bernard, a dive instructor at the Dive Shop in
Little Rock.  “Arkansas has some of
the most beautiful lakes and streams in the country. Most, offering excellent
visibility.”

 

To help spread the news on this fact, the Dive Arkansas
Challenge was created. This mission is to inspire divers to travel Arkansas and explore the diving opportunities here.

 

Dive facilities across the state have come together for the
project and participation is simple. Sign up at an Arkansas dive shop that is
part of the project. A list can be found here.

 

Get your initial logbook stamp then grab one or more of your
certified dive buddies and dive a minimum of 3 verified dives at a minimum of 4
different geographic dive locations. (i.e. Lake Ouachita, Greer’s Ferry Lake,
Bull Shoals Lake, etc.:)

 

Upon completion divers will have at least 12 logged and
verified dives. Or as many as 100 logged and verified dives if they wish. After
a few dives, take your logbook to the dive shop you chose and receive a stamp
on each dive. Each stamp is worth one prize entry ticket at a recognition
banquet on October 6.

 

The Dive Arkansas project was initiated by Dive Shop owner
Mike McCrory and Bernard. It started with a conversation regarding specific
questions they heard all the time, such as “where is there to dive in
Arkansas?”

 

“We felt we needed to do something to educate potential and
already certified divers, while also giving them a venue that would
introduce them to the vast opportunities our state has to offer,” said
Bernard.
 
During their research, they found a program developed for
divers in Texas.  “It seemed to
address the very issues we wished to address here,” said Bernard.  From that, they developed a very
similar program for the state and named it the  ‘Dive Arkansas Challenge’.

 

“I feel like it will be a very important, annual event for
divers living in, or coming to our beautiful state,” said Bernard.

 

Bernard’s had many memorable dive experiences in Arkansas
including her first lake dive in Bull Shoals Lake, watching the feeding
patterns of bass and crappie and finding herself in the center of hundreds of
schooling white bass. “All experiences are met with wonder every time,” she
said. “It’s hard to nail down just one memorable dive.”

 

Diving is a form of relaxation for most and “there’s a lot
that can be learned about freshwater marine life when you’re down there observing it first hand,” said Bernard.  “There are varying types of fish
habitats in our lakes, as well as presence of hydras and jellyfish.”  Of note,
Arkansas’ freshwater jellyfish are about the size of a penny. Their stings
cannot penetrate human skin and are harmless to humans.
 
As for
suggestions for those interested in starting the sport:“Don’t procrastinate,” said Bernard.  “If you think this is something you
would enjoy doing, do it now.”
 
For more details on the project, check out www.divearkansas.com. 



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