Health and Environmental Effects Research
NHEERL's GED Hosts EPA National Diver Training Program
At their facility in Gulf Breeze, FL, NHEERL's Gulf Ecology Division (GED), in collaboration with the Safety Health and Environmental Management Division (SHEMD), hosted the EPA National Diver Training Program to train EPA scientists in scientific diving techniques. Represented at the recent training were participants from SHEMD; the Office of Water; EPA Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, and 10; NHEERL's Atlantic and Gulf Ecology divisions; the U.S. Navy; the Florida Department of Environmental Protection; the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Natural Resources; the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources' Artificial Reef Program; the Georgia Aquarium, in collaboration with Region 4; diving physician Dr. Ernest Campbell; local first responders; and various diving experts from across the country.
Participants underwent a physically and mentally challenging training program. They were instructed in both time-tested and cutting-edge techniques to enable them to safely and professionally perform their research and other duties underwater. GED is a unique facility with a location that is perfect for this type of training―access to clear, warm, shallow marine water; deep, clear, open water; and waters of extremely limited visibility. There is a state-of-the-art onsite training facility, docks to facilitate in-water training, and a fleet of vessels for both inshore and open-water training. Listed below are some of the aspects of the training that were covered.