Divers Direct and Holiday Inn Lauderdale-by-the-Sea to Sponsor First Annual "Clean Up The Reef" Event

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Divers Direct, the world’s largest retailer of scuba gear, in partnership with Holiday Inn Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, today announced the launch of the first annual “Clean Up The Reef” event.

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A lot of people aren't aware that reefs provide many benefits beyond scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing. In addition to the many ecological benefits that the reefs provide to South Florida they can impact everyone by acting as a barrier between the mainland and hurricanes — and other ocean phenomena such as tsunamis

The event, a collaborative effort of environmentally responsible businesses in South Florida, was designed to help relieve the detrimental effects of an ever-increasing amount of discarded waste on local reefs, and the area's marine life in general.

"Local businesses like Divers Direct and Holiday Inn rely — really depend — on a healthy ecosystem to sustain tourism. Divers tend to be a population of nature lovers to begin with, so when you combine this passion with our livelihood depending on the environment, it's really clear that we must prioritize marine health," said Kevin Senecal, President, Divers Direct.

The event will feature prizes awarded for the most garbage collected by weight, which will provide incentive for a quick and efficient clean-up of the local reef. Garbage such as plastic does not degrade and can, and most likely does, stay on reefs and in the ocean for decades. Other debris can smother the reef and kill the coral, which is a live animal in itself, along with the bounty of other sea creatures that make the reef their home. In addition to their environmental importance and visual splendor, reefs, like rainforests, are potential hosts of undiscovered medicinal breakthroughs, such as the Rosy Periwinkle in Madagascar, which offers documented anti-cancer properties.

"A lot of people aren't aware that reefs provide many benefits beyond scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing. In addition to the many ecological benefits that the reefs provide to South Florida they can impact everyone by acting as a barrier between the mainland and hurricanes — and other ocean phenomena such as tsunamis," Senecal commented.

"Clean Up The Reef," which will also benefit the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation, will take place on Saturday, August 16th, 2008, from 1 pm ET – 5 pm ET. Registration is from 12 noon – 1 pm ET. The event will be followed by a celebration party beginning at 5 pm ET the same evening, featuring live music, drink specials, awards, and giveaways. The registration fee is $35 and includes a box lunch, buffet dinner and a contribution to the Save the Sea Turtles Foundation. Participants must be certified divers with proof of certification. For more information about the event, please contact Bruce Siegel at 954-776-1212.

About Divers Direct

Since 1984, Dania Beach, Florida based Divers Direct has been serving the needs of the scuba community by offering a large selection of scuba gear from the world's top manufacturers like Mares, Aqualung, Atomic, Evo, Tusa, and many others. In addition to being recognized as the United States largest scuba retailer, Divers Direct is also well known for their exceptional customer service. Divers Direct carries a full line of scuba gear including, scuba tanks, dive computers, scuba regulators, scuba wetsuits, scuba masks, etc. For more information visit http://www.diversdirect.com or contact a Divers Direct Diving Expert via experts@diversdirect.com or by calling 800-DIVE-USA.

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Rob Darmanin
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