In late May LAMP Director Chuck Meide accompanied FPAN Northeast‘s Director Sarah Miller and Outreach Coordinator Amber Grafft-Weiss to assist teaching the Heritage Awareness Diver seminar sponsored by the State of Florida, FPAN, and NOAA. The story was picked up by the Historic City News:

In their latest adventure, Sarah and Amber suited up for submerged resources training as part of a Heritage Awareness Diving Seminar aimed at providing dive instructors with all the information, tools, and resources needed to teach heritage awareness as a specialty course.
Accompanying the students was Chuck Meide, a local underwater and maritime archaeologist who currently serves as director of the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program; the research arm of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum.

For those who don’t know, FPAN stands for the Florida Public Archaeology Network, which is a state-wide organization dedicated to furthering public understanding and appreciation of Florida archaeology. FPAN does great work, and this seminar in the Florida Keys is a great example. It is focused towards professionals in the diving industry–dive instructors, boat captains, and divemasters–to educate them as to why preserving sunken shipwrecks is just as important to divers and the dive industry as is preserving coral reefs and the natural underwater environment. Graduates of the workshop are qualified to teach a Heritage Awareness Diver certification though the major recreational diving agencies, including NAUI, PADI, and SSI.
We had a second mission as well–to finalize Amber’s certification. LAMP Director Chuck Meide, who also serves as LAMP’s Dive Safety Officer, taught basic scuba to both Sarah and Amber, so that they could extend FPAN’s mission in northeast Florida under the waves. Amber still had to finish her final two dives in order to complete all requirements for open water diver certification. We dived on two historic wrecks, the 19th century Brick Wreck and the 17th century Mystery Wreck, believed to be a Spanish vessel. What a great way to foster our relationship with FPAN, the State Bureau of Archaeological Research, and NOAA, while certifying Amber and furthering the cause of underwater historic preservation, all at the same time!
Read more about it at FPAN’s blog . . .