The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Graduate P Shaylee Ackerman (10) pitches during Texas A&Ms game against Valpo on Feb. 10, 2024 at Davis Diamond.
Holding down the house
February 22, 2024
Graduate P Shaylee Ackerman (10) pitches during Texas A&Ms game against Valpo on Feb. 10, 2024 at Davis Diamond.
Holding down the house
February 22, 2024

Scuba club pushes environmental convservation through trips, events

 
 

As Meghan Loftus strapped on her scuba gear and plunged into the Comal River, she knew not only that was she making a positive impact on the environment, but that she had also chosen to be a part of a unique organization at Texas A&M.
Loftus, a sophomore zoology major, joined the Texas A&M Scuba Diving Club her freshman year. The groups annual trip to Trash Fest in New Braunfels was her first dive with the club.
Groups get together to clean up the river, which is right next to Schlitterbahn, Loftus said. Its a competition. Whoever bags the most trash wins a prize, which is anything from bumper stickers to a paid cruise. That was my first trip [with the A&M club] and it was a lot of fun.
Founded in the 1990s, the club currently has between 20 and 30 members and was created to promote the sport and connect divers at A&M. The club organizes diving trips and an annual Race for the Reefs 3k and 5k, which benefits reef preservation.
Its an organization where divers can get together, have a group of friends and find dive buddies, Loftus said. Its a hangout for divers.
The group travels to nearby dive sites, like the one to New Braunfels, but sometimes travels internationally.
In the past, the group has gone to Cozumel and this May we are going to Belize, Loftus said.
Former club president Miranda Moore, Class of 2012, said her experience with the club was strengthened by the dive trips she participated in.
Last spring we went to Pensacola for our Spring Break trip, Moore said. We didnt know each other that well, and just on that trip alone we gained so many friendships.
Moore said the club also plans social trips that do not involve diving.
To join [the club], you dont have to be a diver, Moore said. We do plenty of things that arent scuba diving related. [Recently] we went to the Houston aquarium.
Ellen Giddens, junior wildlife and fishery sciences major, said she joined the club after transferring from the University of Tampa last year.
I had been scuba diving for a long time, Giddens said. I wanted to meet other people my age who were doing the same thing.
Giddens said she found the club on the Student Activities website and has enjoyed the events organized by the club.
Its a really laid back group, Giddens said. Theres a wide range of opportunities for people who are interested in diving. We recently went diving on oilrigs in the Gulf. They create an artificial reef that is great for scuba diving. It was really fun. It was the first open water dive that weve done as a group in a long time.
Giddens also said she has formed strong friendships through the organization.
Ive met friends that I would have never been exposed to, Giddens said. Its fun to relax around people that you enjoy being around.
Giddens encouraged students interested in scuba diving to become certified and to also join the organization.
When youre scuba diving, you are able to experience a whole different world that most people are never exposed to, Giddens said. The possibilities are endless.

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