Author Kathy Dowsett

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

Researcher studies impact of climate change on poor

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As climate change advances and triggers more frequent and severe tropical storms, floods, droughts and rising sea levels, we may wonder what could be worse. The answer is all of the above if they strike those living in poverty. Heather Stager’s master’s thesis in Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo was based on the December 1999 Vargas tragedy in Venezuela. Landslides and floods claimed 10,000 to 50,000 lives. Stager, of Ottawa, is now working on a project probing the relationship of poverty to climate change and disasters in the Caribbean. One factor is that the homes of the poor…

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‘A Plastic Ocean’ exposes damage of a disposable lifestyle

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“No Water, No Life. No Blue, No Green.” – Dr. Sylvia Earle There was a time when we didn’t carry our groceries home in plastic bags. There was also a time when society was unaware of the damage plastics were creating in our oceans. Thankfully, we are more aware now. That awareness will be reinforced by a new documentary called “A Plastic Ocean.” It underlines the damage created by our disposable lifestyle. Fifty per cent of plastic bags are only used once and then discarded. Unfortunately, a lot of them end up in oceans to the detriment of ocean life…

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Save Ontario Shipwrecks (SOS) Annual Meeting

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Save the date for Save Ontario Shipwrecks (SOS) Annual Meeting When: Wednesday, April 22, 2017 Where: Brockville’s Aquatarium Admission: $12.95 + HST Speakers: Chris Pinney, Tom Scott and Chris Kohl The morning session is devoted to members only. Open to the public in the afternoon. For more information contact: Chantelle Blanchard: https://www.facebook.com/chantelleblanchard?hc_ref=SEARCH

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Non-native organisms spread around world in ships’ ballast water

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Before leaving a port for a voyage across the ocean, large ships take on ballast water. When they get to their destination they no longer need it so it is discharged. This works well for those who handle the ship’s wheel, but it can have negative effects on the environment. Water organisms that spread across oceans in ships’ ballast water are not a new occurrence. But its effects are expanding. The best known is the case of zebra mussels, which were introduced to Great Lakes waters decades ago by ballast dumping in the St. Lawrence Seaway. This created a domino…

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Ontario Underwater Explorers Scuba Club Hosts 25th Annual Scuba Swap

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Ontario Underwater Explorers (OUE) Scuba Club is hosting the 25th annual Scuba Swap and Sale on April 29, 2017. One of GTA recreational diving community’s premier events, the Swap will bring together scuba divers who would like to sell or buy gear, dive shops, and experts presenting diving- and environment-related topics of interest to the diving community. “When we started back in 1992” – says Ro Omrow, who has participated in all Swap events, “we just wanted to have a gear-exchange event, like the ones skiers had. Today, the Swap offers much more – and we keep improving it to…

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Kinghorn resting 400 feet off Rockport Ontario shore a popular dive site

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The Kinghorn, a barge carrying a cargo of wheat to Montreal, sank on April 27, 1897 during a storm on the St. Lawrence River. While 120 years have passed since the sinking it remains an accessible dive site. It is resting in 90 feet of water in front of the Rockport, Ontario dock. The wreck is 400 feet from shore. The Kinghorn, along with six other barges, were being towed by a tug named the Hiram Walker. While it is accessible, there are safety concerns that must be met. Divers are urged not to surface swim to the ship’s location…

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Training crucial for safety in the sport of cave diving

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It has been said that cave diving is one of the most dangerous sports in America. That is because in a cave you cannot always get directly to the surface. It can become a big problem if a diver does not manage his or her gas properly. Matt Lerpiniere, of Kingston Ontario, has just completed two cave-diving courses in Florida. He says many of the cave-diving fatalities involve untrained divers. “It becomes much safer for divers who have trained. A lot of divers who have died were going beyond their training level or were not trained at all. Sometimes it’s…

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Introducing Adventure Sports, Inc. Newmarket, Ontario

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That time in Jamaica. “Honey, put down the butter knife, I have a great idea that I want to share with you,” Jody said. This is usually when I roll my eyes inwardly (mostly inwardly), and sigh, “What.  Now.” Don’t get me wrong, ideas are great.  But Jody gets LOTS of them!  Back to his newest idea (at the time): “We should open a dive shop here in Jamaica – I’m looking at some property this afternoon!” He was still floating on cloud nine, reminiscing about his scuba excursion the day before; we were vacationing in Jamaica, to attend our…

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Frozen methane bubbles in lakes complicate battle with global warming

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The warmer temperatures experienced in the Arctic as climate change progresses lead to a greater release of methane when the permafrost melts. But methane is also being released when ice in thousands of lakes in the north melts in the spring and frozen methane bubbles are released. Scientists know that methane is more potent than carbon dioxide in that per mole, its global warming potential is 3.7 times that of carbon dioxide. The expansion of the release of methane in the Arctic makes the path to achieving zero emissions longer. Unfortunately, time is running low to meet that goal before…

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