Dive Around Texas Event

Texas offers more than 30 places to scuba dive, from rivers to the Gulf of Mexico. Dive Around Texas offers prizes for diving 12 times in four different sites.

An annual event to promote and celebrate diving in the Lone Star State, Dive Around Texas challenges divers to make a minimum of 12 dives in four different locations in Texas. Divers can sign up at participating dive shops; the $25 registration fee includes a t-shirt.

Dive Around Texas Rules

Divers simply log each dive, then have a participating dive shop verify the dive with a special "Dive Around Texas" stamp. Those who complete the 12-dive, four-site challenge receive a ticket to the Awards Recognition Day, October 3, 2010 in San Marcos and become eligible for dive-related prizes, including dive trips. The more dives completed, the more chances to win. Divers must be present at the Awards Recognition Day to win, or have their verified log book submitted by a participating retailer.

Participating Dive Shops

Texas dive retailers participating in Dive Around Texas 2010 include:

Ascuba Venture, Corpus Christi
Blue Dolphin Dive Center, Temple
Dive West, Dallas
Dive World, Austin
Dive World, San Antonio
Gigglin' Marlin Divers, Houston
Oak Hill Scuba, Austin
Scuba Center, Tyler
Sea Sports Scuba (3 locations), Houston
Tom's Dive and Swim, Austin.
The Dive Shop, San Marcos

Divers can check to see if other dive shops are participating, as this is only a partial list. If your local dive shop isn't participating, ask them to join up.

Dive Sites in Texas

Texas dive sites include rigs and coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico, dozens of lakes, a number of rivers, quarries, and even an old missile silo. one of the most popular spots in the Gulf is the Flower Gardens Banks National Marine Sanctuary, where coral reefs grow on the top of salt domes protruding from the sea floor, 60 to 100 feet deep. The Flower Gardens are an overnight trip on a live-aboard and an advanced dive site thanks to currents, depth, and a location 100 miles from shore. Local dive shops can arrange a trip on the R/V Fling, which departs from Freeport. Other popular Gulf of Mexico dive sites lie off South Padre Island and include the Texas Clipper and other sunken ship reefs, and offshore rigs. These can be half-day or all-day dive trips.

Lakes known for diving include Lake Amistad National Recreation Area (where divers also can rent houseboats), Canyon Lake, Lake Travis, Lake Belton, Toledo Bend, and Lake Meredith National Recreation Area. Most offer shore as well as boat diving. State parks that offer diving include Lake Ray Roberts, Lake Whitney, Possum Kingdom and Tyler State Parks. Balmorhea State Park in West Texas has a spring-fed, 25-foot deep pool with excellent visibility.

Divers also enjoy the clear Comal River in New Braunfels and the San Marcos River. Aquarena Springs in San Marcos, which is affiliated with Texas State University, has a science diving program and qualified divers can volunteer for a variety of monitoring and research projects.

Private dive sites in Texas include Blue Lagoon, a former quarry near Huntsville, Athens Scuba Park, Mammoth Lake near Houston, and Dive Valhalla, a 180-foot deep, water-filled missile silo near Abilene.

Dive operators and dive shops offer a variety of special events and dive opportunities as part of the event. The Dive Around Texas challenge offers a good inspiration to get out and try some of the excellent and fun diving available in the state.

Contributed by: Melissa Gaskill

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