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.
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.
“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.