AUSTIN, Texas — Recognizing that many of the world’s coral reefs are either threatened or in decline, 1997 has been designated the International Year of the Reef. In the spirit of trying to help reverse present trends, Texas Memorial Museum is hosting Diver Fest ’97 Reefs at Risk — What Can Divers Do? at The University of Texas at Austin campus on Sunday, Nov. 9, from 12:30 to 5 p.m.
The twin goals of the program are to inspire recreational divers — including UT students, staff and faculty — to support environmentally sustainable tourism, and to solicit volunteers for reef assessment and management programs. Artificial reefs are included in the itinerary because of their value at enhancing reef fishery resources along the Texas coast.
Free to the public are a series of short videos, illustrated talks and exhibits of specialized diving and monitoring gear, digital videographic equipment, displays about coral reef research, Texas reefs, fossil reefs, underwater archeology and demonstation projects for educators, as well as volunteering and ecotourism information.
Exhibitors include UT Austin (departments of zoology and geological science), Texas A&M University at College Station (Institute of Nautical Archeology) Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi (Center for Coastal Studies) Texas A&M University at Galveston (department of marine biology), Baylor University (geology department), Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Minerals Management Service (Gulf of Mexico region), Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Advanced Creative Productions, Rinn Boats Inc. and U.S. Divers Co. Inc. Student docents are members of the University Scuba Club.