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The heritage of our underwater world: Key West Art & Historical Society offers Heritage Awareness Diving Seminar 

Key West Art & Historical Society has partnered with the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research to offer a Heritage Awareness Diving Seminar in Key West, Thursday, June 14 – Saturday, June 16.

The three-day course includes both classroom and scuba diving components, and while targeted to diving leadership such as agency course directors, dive instructors, and heritage professionals, the program welcomes and has proven beneficial for professional and recreational divers.

Two classroom sessions, Thursday, June 14 and Friday, June 15, both 6:00-9:00pm in the Helmerich Research & Learning Center at the Custom House Museum, will feature discussions on maritime archaeology, shipwrecks and underwater heritage tourism; conservation issues; submerged cultural resource laws; teaching outlines and classroom modules for training organizations, and more. Saturday’s open water session, from 1:00pm to 7:00pm, will take place on Joe’s Tug, a 75-foot steel hulled shrimping vessel lying in 65 feet sea water and on the USNS Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, an ex-military missile-tracking ship in a depth range of 40 to 140 feet, which was purposely sunk off of Key West in 2009.

All program participants will receive the HADS workbook and a CD with all PowerPoint presentations, which professionals may use in their own classes. Upon completion of the seminar, professionals can teach the new Heritage Awareness Diving Specialty Course (approved by PADI, NAUI, SDI, and UDT) as well as incorporate underwater historic preservation into other courses.

To further the program’s outreach, the Society and HADS has provided two local Reef Relief instructors with scholarships so that they can use the program’s tools to better educate their students on the importance of marine conservation.

The program fee is $150 and includes seminar, dive tanks and weights. Class size is limited; proof of dive certification required for those who wish to participate in the diving component. For information and registration, visit or contact Adele Williams at 305-295-6616, extension 115. Your museums.  Your community.  It takes an island.