CDS workshop

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CDS workshop

Postby kelly » May 18, 2008 2:34 pm ... est/13969/

Hundreds from around the world will gather next weekend at Blue Springs Recreational Park to dive into a less-known world right below our feet.
The National Speleological Society Cave Diving Section 2008 Convention and Workshop is an event that holds international merit, according to officials, with diving experts from around the world coming to discuss the latest in diving details. The convention is also a chance for avid divers to experience the world-class springs Jackson County has to offer.
“We’re looking here at nine countries represented at this so far. For a community like Jackson County to host an international conference is only because we have the best cave system in the world,” said Jackson County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Art Kimbrough.
The public will have a chance to meet world-renowned divers of the highest skill level at the convention, where divers will review safety techniques, discuss the latest most sophisticated equipment, and more, said Kimbrough.
Over 300 participants are expected to register for the event, but the public will have several opportunities to drop by and take a look at the activity that brings a focus not only on the spirit of exploration, but awareness and preservation of some of the Earth’s natural features.
According to the Society’s Web site, “This year’s workshop will address the advancement and future in cave diving equipment and our relationship with landowners and the government in the protection, exploration, education, and conservation of our underground aquifer. This year’s event will be unique in that we will educate the general public, strengthen our relationship with landowners, park managers, the Department of Environmental Protection, and various governmental officials.”
Anyone interested in taking part in the public activities of the convention may join in on the Fire Side Chat at Citizen’s Lodge on Friday, May 23, from 8:15 p.m. to 10 p.m. Cost is $5 per person.
Marshmallows will be served, along with stories from “cave-diving legends” like Woody Jasper, Wes Skiles, Jill Heinerth, Forrest Wilson, Gene Melton, Paul Heinerth, Larry Green, Bill Fehring, Hal Watts, Bill Oigarden and John Jones.
On Saturday, May 24 at the Florida National Guard Armory on Highway 90, exhibits are open free to the public during the day and the cinematic movie event, featuring “The Millpond Experience,” is also free to the public.
The public may also attend the conference at the Armory and pay at the door $45.
There is a free talk, exhibit on cave diving and a question and answer session at Blue Springs Recreational Facility on Sunday, May 25.
Those interested in registering for the convention may call Bill Rottello, program chairman, at (321) 383-5859. A more specific schedule of events is available on the Society’s Web site, at
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