U.S. EPA Scientific Diving Program (EPA Divers)

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Around the U.S., our certified divers study and collect vital information about our underwater environmental challenges. Their skill and hard work helps EPA do a better job cleaning up and protecting the environment. From the murkiest, coldest conditions that we work in to warmer tropical waters, scientific divers work to support EPA's mission. Enjoy and don't be shy if you have questions either,

feel free to ask something about the scientific diving work EPA divers do in support of the Agency mission and we'll do our best to get you a timely response.

Heard of "the bends"? Moving too quickly from an area of high pressure to low pressure can produce nitrogen gas bubbles ...
01/03/2022

Heard of "the bends"? Moving too quickly from an area of high pressure to low pressure can produce nitrogen gas bubbles in the body causing Decompression Sickness. Here an EPA diver does a safety stop to allow the nitrogen to leave their bloodstream.

“Heard of "the bends"? Moving too quickly from an area of high pressure to low pressure can produce nitrogen gas bubbles in the body causing Decompression Sickness. Here an EPA diver does a safety stop to allow the nitrogen to leave their bloodstream. ”

The EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) research lab in Narragansett, Rhode Island along with colleagues from R...
12/16/2021

The EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) research lab in Narragansett, Rhode Island along with colleagues from Regions 2 and 10, and the University of Connecticut (UCONN) developed and tested two types of passive samplers (ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and polyoxymethylene (POM)) to characterize the bioavailability of munition compounds. These passive samplers are similar to low density polyethylene (LDPE) and solid phase micro-extraction (SPME) devices which have been successfully used for several years at sediment sites contaminated with hydrophobic pollutants like PCBs and PAHs. Munitions are less hydrophobic than PCBs and PAHs and required different types of passive samplers. To field evaluate the EVA and POM passive samplers, EPA divers from Region 10 and ERT installed and retrieved these samplers at a Superfund Site located near Bremerton, WA. The results of this deployment will be used to validate and further develop the methodology for using these new types of passive samplers to assess munition bioavailability at other EPA sites.

12/01/2021

Coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse and valuable ecosystems on Earth. This web site describes the importance of coral reefs, threats to them, and ongoing efforts to protect them.

12/01/2021

There is an astonishing diversity of ways in which people benefit from coral reefs. They provide recreation, resource extraction, inspirational, and educational opportunities, among many others as we...

EPA divers installed passive samplers at the McCormick and Baxter site with partners ODEQ and Texas Tech University to m...
03/16/2021

EPA divers installed passive samplers at the McCormick and Baxter site with partners ODEQ and Texas Tech University to make sure the cleanup of the former utility pole treatment site is still working. Photo: Diver Anne Christopher drives the passive sampler into the river substrate with a slide hammer to ensure it reaches its target depth where shellfish dwell.

What is a passive sampler? It is a media that absorbs everything around it! In this case, it tells us if there are polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at concentrations that could harm fish, shellfish, or people.

02/18/2021

EPA has finalized and released the attached Trash Free Waters (TFW) International Guide - a tool that provides step-by-step guidance in order to establish a TFW program and implement related TFW projects. TFW is EPA’s approach to address land-based sources of marine litter.

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2021-01/documents/tfw_howtoguide_20201228_finalprint_508_final.pdf

01/28/2021

Not sure what disinfectants have been proven to work against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the Covid-19 sickness)? EPA has created a tool to view all products that meet EPA's criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2.

As always, please follow label instructions to ensure the product will work effectively and for your safety in its application and these products are designed be used on surfaces and not humans.

https://cfpub.epa.gov/giwiz/disinfectants/index.cfm

EPA divers installed passive samplers at the McCormick and Baxter site with partners ODEQ and Texas Tech University to m...
01/18/2021

EPA divers installed passive samplers at the McCormick and Baxter site with partners ODEQ and Texas Tech University to make sure the cleanup of the former utility pole treatment site is still working. Photo: Annie Whitley ensures delivery of breathing gas to the diver via a surface supplied control box.

What is a passive sampler? It is a media that absorbs everything around it! In this case, it tells us if there are polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at concentrations that could harm fish, shellfish, or people.

EPA divers installed passive samplers at the McCormick and Baxter site with partners ODEQ and Texas Tech University to m...
01/11/2021

EPA divers installed passive samplers at the McCormick and Baxter site with partners ODEQ and Texas Tech University to make sure the cleanup of the former utility pole treatment site is still working. Photo: Diver Annie Whitley undergoes decontamination after installing samplers in the river bottom.

What is a passive sampler? It is a media that absorbs everything around it! In this case, it tells us if there are polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at concentrations that could harm fish, shellfish, or people.

EPA divers installed passive samplers at the McCormick and Baxter site with partners ODEQ and Texas Tech University to m...
01/05/2021

EPA divers installed passive samplers at the McCormick and Baxter site with partners ODEQ and Texas Tech University to make sure the cleanup of the former utility pole treatment site is still working. Photo: Diver Kris Leefers gets ready for sampler placement while keeping cool in the shade thanks to her tender.

What is a passive sampler? It is a media that absorbs everything around it! In this case, it tells us if there are polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at concentrations that could harm fish, shellfish, or people.

Masks on, masks off, how has dive tending changed on your vessel?EPA diver Rachel Stephenson dons her hood and puts her ...
12/01/2020

Masks on, masks off, how has dive tending changed on your vessel?

EPA diver Rachel Stephenson dons her hood and puts her mask back on before receiving her surface supplied EGS bottle for her sampling dive.

Scientific diver and   Bill Fisher measures soft corals along a survey transect in  . Surveys documented fish, stony cor...
12/01/2020

Scientific diver and Bill Fisher measures soft corals along a survey transect in . Surveys documented fish, stony corals, soft corals and sponges at more than 60 stations in the region.

“Scientific diver and Bill Fisher measures soft corals along a survey transect in . Surveys documented fish, stony corals, soft corals and sponges at more than 60 stations in the region. ”

Distant dive briefings.  How has your diving changed due to Covid-19.Brent Richmond gives a dive briefing at USCG statio...
11/24/2020

Distant dive briefings. How has your diving changed due to Covid-19.

Brent Richmond gives a dive briefing at USCG station Portland before embarking to the sampling site.

This year marks the EPA Dive Program's 50th year of serving the agency's mission underwater.  Happy birthday EPA Diving!...
11/02/2020

This year marks the EPA Dive Program's 50th year of serving the agency's mission underwater. Happy birthday EPA Diving!

EPA scientific divers are working to protect  . This past winter, we surveyed the Pacific Sound Resources   cleanup site...
10/05/2020

EPA scientific divers are working to protect . This past winter, we surveyed the Pacific Sound Resources cleanup site in Seattle’s Elliott Bay to make sure the protective sediment cap is working well. Learn more about EPA’s underwater work: https://www.epa.gov/diving

Rachel Stephenson tows a surface raft attached to a GPS to geolcate photos of the protective cap taken by the photographer.

EPA in cooperation with NOAA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection surveys a  transect off of Port Ever...
09/07/2020

EPA in cooperation with NOAA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection surveys a transect off of Port Everglades (Florida) to prepare for data collection. This habitat survey helps to document impacts if any of nearby port dredging. Photo: scientific diver and diving control board chairman Mel Parsons records data on his transect.

U.S. EPA divers were tasked to collect sediment samples outside a dry dock and repair facility to assess possible impact...
08/03/2020

U.S. EPA divers were tasked to collect sediment samples outside a dry dock and repair facility to assess possible impacts to the Upper New York Bay. The dives were conducted at depths up to 40 feet using surface supplied air wearing a full-face mask and dry suit mated with dry gloves.

U.S. EPA divers working on the U.S. EPA Research Vessel (R/V) Lake Guardian in Lake Huron attempting locate remote sampl...
07/20/2020

U.S. EPA divers working on the U.S. EPA Research Vessel (R/V) Lake Guardian in Lake Huron attempting locate remote sampling arrays that failed to release.

EPA in cooperation with NOAA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection surveys a  transect off of Port Ever...
07/07/2020

EPA in cooperation with NOAA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection surveys a transect off of Port Everglades (Florida) to prepare for data collection. This habitat survey helps to document impacts if any of nearby port dredging. Scientific diver Greg White measures sediment depth along his transect that could impact coral and other marine life.

EPA in cooperation with NOAA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection surveys a  transect off of Port Ever...
05/19/2020

EPA in cooperation with NOAA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection surveys a transect off of Port Everglades (Florida) to prepare for data collection. This habitat survey helps to document impacts if any of nearby port dredging. Scientific divers Greg White measures sediment depth along his transect to document current conditions impacting coral and other marine life.

EPA Dive Training RESCHEDULED to 21-25 September 2020EPA hosts dive training catering to those needing to conduct scient...
04/13/2020

EPA Dive Training RESCHEDULED to 21-25 September 2020

EPA hosts dive training catering to those needing to conduct scientific and light work diving. We offer the class to Federal, Tribal, State, and local government divers with a work related need at no cost in Pensacola, Florida every year to meet EPA’s program needs and those of our partners. Training includes SCUBA, tethered SCUBA, and surface supply introduction with rescue skills training. This year due to social distancing continuing through May, class is rescheduled to September. Please contact Sean Sheldrake at [email protected] if you are interested in signing up for the training.

For more information see: https://www.epa.gov/diving/diver-training

Thinking of becoming an EPA diver?  The best way is to get a job at EPA and then apply to become part of one of our dive...
04/08/2020

Thinking of becoming an EPA diver? The best way is to get a job at EPA and then apply to become part of one of our dive units. Now hiring via the USAJOBS link below:

We’re hiring! Come work with EPA and help us protect the environment in the Pacific NW. 🌎 We have an opening for a Superfund Remedial Project Manager to work in our Seattle, Portland or Boise office.

Apply by April 15 at: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/564929600

Not sure what disinfectants have been proven to work against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the Covid-19 sickness)? P...
03/27/2020

Not sure what disinfectants have been proven to work against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the Covid-19 sickness)? Please check our "N" list which continues to be updated as new testing results are provided to the Agency. ...And please, always follow label instructions to ensure the product will work effectively and for your safety in its application.

EPA News Release: EPA Continues Efforts to Help Increase the Availability of Disinfectant Products for Use Against the Novel Coronavirus

Diving jobs!From our friends at USC Santa Barbara:Applications Due March 30thhttps://recruit.ap.ucsb.edu/JPF01770JPF0177...
03/18/2020

Diving jobs!

From our friends at USC Santa Barbara:

Applications Due March 30th

https://recruit.ap.ucsb.edu/JPF01770

JPF01770 Junior or Assistant Specialist Santa Barbara Coastal Long Term Ecological Research- Marine Science Institute

The Marine Science Institute is seeking a highly qualified Junior or Assistant Specialist in marine ecology to work with the Santa Barbara Coastal Long Term Ecological Research project and related projects. The overall objective of this work is to understand the ecology of coastal marine ecosystems, particularly kelp forests, in southern California.
The qualified individual will work closely with the project’s investigators and other research staff in the implementation of the project’s research activities. Principal duties include: subtidal and oceanographic field research and laboratory activities such as sample processing, equipment maintenance, instrument programming, data entry and quality assurance, protocol documentation, and supervising and mentoring undergraduate student assistants.
Basic qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (environmental studies, marine science, ecology, biology, earth science or a related field) and 1 year minimum field experience in marine habitats at the time of application.
Additional qualifications :
Master’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant field (environmental studies, marine science, ecology, biology, earth science or a related field) by the time of appointment;
OR
5 years of experience demonstrating expertise in the required skills should the applicant be offered the position at the Assistant level by the time of appointment.
Preferred qualifications: In-depth knowledge of taxonomy and identification of southern California marine algae, invertebrates, and fish; experience in and familiarity with subtidal and oceanographic sampling protocols; experience using underwater imaging systems; ability to manage diverse types of ecological and environmental data; R coding experience; experience in basic tool use and fabrication of field gear; strong organizational and communication skills; Nitrox SCUBA certification, CA boating card, 100+ research SCUBA dives.
Special Conditions
Must provide proof of training in research SCUBA diving with current AAUS certification or equivalent.
Must have valid California Driver's license.
Ability to work long work days (10+ hours) and a variable schedule including occasional weekends. Additionally, the selected candidate must be physically capable of loading 50 lbs. of field equipment with or without accommodations.
The position will be located on the UCSB campus and field research will take place mostly in the Santa Barbara area.
Salary and Benefits: Junior or Assistant Specialist position, with salary step commensurate with qualifications. 100% time appointment for 1 year from start date with possibility for additional years of employment contingent upon performance and funding. Start date is negotiable, but ideally would be no later than June 1, 2020. Full benefits package included.
The position is available immediately.
For full consideration, please apply by March 30, 2020
Position will be open until filled.
Electronic applications (including a CV and contact information for 3 references) and a cover letter stating your research accomplishments and interests should be sent to:
https://recruit.ap.ucsb.edu/JPF01770
The University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service.
The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, s*x, s*xual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

University of California Santa Barbara is hiring. Apply now!

U.S. EPA divers working with multiple Environment Canada, Federal, State, and Academic parties conducting dive operation...
03/09/2020

U.S. EPA divers working with multiple Environment Canada, Federal, State, and Academic parties conducting dive operations to collect biological monitoring data. The data collected included water quality, nutrient loading, and the relationship between invasive zebra mussels and Cladophora (a filamentous green algae). Nuisance growth of Cladophora has been documented in the Great Lakes since the 1930s, but control of nutrients until recently reduced the concern for its growth. Over the past decade, Cladophora’s biomass has increased steadily due to increased water clarity caused by zebra mussels. Cladophora’s impact is most felt through beach fouling.

EPA Dive Training 11-15 May 2020EPA hosts dive training catering to those needing to conduct scientific and light work d...
03/02/2020

EPA Dive Training 11-15 May 2020

EPA hosts dive training catering to those needing to conduct scientific and light work diving. We offer the class to Federal, Tribal, State, and local government divers with a work related need at no cost in Pensacola, Florida every year to meet EPA’s program needs and those of our partners. Training includes SCUBA, tethered SCUBA, and surface supply introduction with rescue skills training. Please contact Sean Sheldrake at [email protected] if you are interested in signing up for the training.

For more information see: https://www.epa.gov/diving/diver-training

Training requirements for EPA's scientific divers, and training available to other organizations.

This year marks the EPA Dive Program's 50th year of serving the agency's mission underwater.  Happy birthday EPA Diving!...
02/24/2020

This year marks the EPA Dive Program's 50th year of serving the agency's mission underwater. Happy birthday EPA Diving!

EPA Dive Training 11-15 May 2020EPA hosts dive training catering to those needing to conduct scientific and light work d...
01/21/2020

EPA Dive Training 11-15 May 2020

EPA hosts dive training catering to those needing to conduct scientific and light work diving. We offer the class to Federal, Tribal, State, and local government divers with a work related need at no cost in Pensacola, Florida every year to meet EPA’s program needs and those of our partners. Training includes SCUBA, tethered SCUBA, and surface supply introduction with rescue skills training. Please contact Sean Sheldrake at [email protected] if you are interested in signing up for the training.

For more information see: https://www.epa.gov/diving/diver-training

EPA in cooperation with NOAA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection surveys a  transect off of Port Ever...
01/06/2020

EPA in cooperation with NOAA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection surveys a transect off of Port Everglades (Florida) to prepare for data collection. This habitat survey helps to document impacts if any of nearby port dredging. Scientific divers Greg White and Mel Parsons record data along their transect regarding current conditions of coral and other marine life.

Members of the EPA Region 6 Dive Team in Dallas, Texas volunteered to use their diving skills to remove underwater trash...
12/16/2019

Members of the EPA Region 6 Dive Team in Dallas, Texas volunteered to use their diving skills to remove underwater trash as part of the Lake Travis Cleanup service event on September 15, 2019. Lake Travis is a drinking water source for thousands of residents in the Austin area. Each year, volunteers gather to collect an average of 5 tons of trash from the bottom of Lake Travis and many Travis County Parks around the lake, while also helping to raise public awareness of the importance of Lake Travis and the Highland Lakes to the community. The Lake Travis Cleanup is the largest scuba diving, shoreline, and watercraft cleanup in Texas.

EPA scientific divers are working with the University of Washington to better understand the movement of arsenic contami...
11/18/2019

EPA scientific divers are working with the University of Washington to better understand the movement of arsenic contamination in a lake in the Pacific Northwest. Photos: Divemaster Kris Leefers prepares diver Rob Rau to deploy on tethered scuba to the instrumentation for retrieval. Due to the shallow lake and restrictions on vessel access, the diver must walk to sufficient depth to don their fins.

EPA in cooperation with NOAA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection surveys a  transect off of Port Ever...
11/04/2019

EPA in cooperation with NOAA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection surveys a transect off of Port Everglades (Florida) to prepare for data collection. This habitat survey helps to document impacts if any of nearby port dredging. Photo: EPA diver records data on scleractinian, octocoral, and sponges of Port Everglades (Florida).

EPA divers regularly check Superfund cleanup caps that encase underlying sediment contamination and the "road signs" tha...
10/28/2019

EPA divers regularly check Superfund cleanup caps that encase underlying sediment contamination and the "road signs" that keep them safe from anchors that might bring up underlying contamination. Diver Chad Schulze prepares to photo document cap and "no anchor zone" buoy conditions.

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One life must die And many sea life With the craftsmanship of the man who dumped the garbage into the sea This is a poster that has been made. Do not throw garbage into the sea. 🚯 Request one beautiful life. Let's throw away the garbage into the sea. 🚯

DAILY NUGGETS ON PEACE:
Water is relative to a peaceful healthy lifespan.-C. C. Paradise ( ).
John McMahan, DM in training with Elizabeth Moso and Peggy Lane Harris
Do you have any information available on becoming an EPA diver?
Temp hit 122F, 50C in Pakistan on Monday, the highest April temperature ever recorded on this planet. Old record was set...last year
Yesterday, 170 members of Congress called for the resignation of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Add your voice: http://climatetruth.org/bootpruitt

Alaska crushes record for hottest December as Arctic sea ice hits record low –– "We are the U.S.'s canary in that coal mine."
By Joseph Romm, Climate Progress, Jan 11, 2018
In its hottest December ever recorded, Alaska was a stunning 15.7°F [8.7°C] above the 20th century average. And the year ended with Arctic sea ice hitting an all-time record low.

While the East Coast had a cool December and New Year’s week, Alaska baked. Last Tuesday, Anchorage hit 48°F, warmer than southern cities from Atlanta and Jacksonville to Houston and New Orleans.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported this week that Alaska averaged 19.4°F [10.8°C] for the month, topping the previous record (1985) by a whopping 2.1°F [1.17°C]. “That’s really quite astonishing,” said Rick Thoman, the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS)’s climate sciences and services manager for the Alaska region. As he explained to the Anchorage Daily News, “Usually you’re breaking those by a tenth of a degree or two-tenths of a degree.”

The Arctic as a whole was so warm in December that Arctic sea ice set a new end-of-year record low, as both the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) reported.
Full article » https://thinkprogress.org/alaska-hottest-december-1e4effce0ad1/

350.org An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power Climate Reality Sierra Club Save The Arctic 100% campaign Project Drawdown
[M]
Did you know 97% of scientists have concluded that human-caused global warming is happening? According to our recent study in Nature, communicating this simple fact can help neutralize partisan motivated reasoning on global warming and bridge the conservative-liberal divide:
How is the EPA supposed to clean up these Superfund sites with a 30% budget cut to the program?
Michael Dourson spent years as a scientist-for-hire for chemical companies. Now he is nominated to lead EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention—a huge conflict of interest. For the sake of our health and safety, contact your Senators TODAY at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to oppose this toxic nomination!
The U.S. is now the sole country to have rejected the Paris Agreement. But 30 years ago, we led the world as it came together to forge an important environmental pact.