New Videos from the Gulf Bring Viewers on Virtual Dives

Local oceanographer chronicles pristine waters, marine life off the coast of St. Pete/Clearwater

Monday, July 19, 2010

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (July 19, 2010) – For the last two months, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater has broadcast live webcam images of beach-goers enjoying our pristine white-sand beaches and emerald-clear Gulf waters as proof-positive that we are 100% unaffected by the BP Oil Spill. 

Now it’s time to dive a little deeper---literally. 

Beginning this week, VSPC will issue —Underwater Updates,” short videos consisting of regularly-updated footage from the artificial reef system that runs the entire length of the St Pete/Clearwater area’s Gulf Coast---the first of which can be viewed here

The video updates, which will be hosted on FacebookYouTube and the new interactive —Wide Open Beaches” page that will launch later this week, feature our area’s own —Jacques Cousteau”---Dr. Heyward Mathews, a professor of oceanography at St. Petersburg College (SPC) and a former fishery biologist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 

Mathews is also the founder of the Clearwater Artificial Reef Program, which was founded in 1972 and is considered a model for others around the globe. 

—This gives us a chance to highlight yet another aspect of the area---scuba tourism---while hammering the point home that our beaches and our Gulf waters remain absolutely pristine,” said DT Minich, executive director of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. —Even locals will be surprised by these gorgeous reefs,” he added. 

Throughout the summer, these updates will take viewers along on excursions with students from SPC’s Scuba Program to show the amazing water quality and vast variety of marine life on the local Gulf reefs. Carlos Monzon, a former student and videographer, will capture high-definition footage of flora and fauna---such as the snapper seen above on a recent dive to Clearwater Pass Reef---to chronicle the thriving local marine ecosystem for all to see. 

The underwater project is the latest in VSPC’s efforts to deliver the message that the St. Pete/Clearwater area is wholly unaffected by the BP Oil Spill. This outreach will complement a new multi media advertising campaign designed to drive the point home clearly and succinctly: —No Oil—Enough Said.” 

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is the destination marketing organization for Pinellas County, Florida. 

Connect with VSPC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

For more information:
Contact: CVB Assistant Director David Downing:
Phone: 727.464.7213

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