ontario underwater council response to ontario ministry of culture re underwater cultural heritage l.
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Ontario Underwater Council Response to Ontario Ministry of Culture re: Underwater Cultural Heritage Raimund Krob, President, Ontario Underwater Council Ron Irvine, Director of Sport Safety, Ontario Underwater Council John Delorey, President, Mississauga Scuba Club & OUC Member

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ontario underwater council response to ontario ministry of culture re underwater cultural heritage

Ontario Underwater Council Response toOntario Ministry of Culturere: Underwater Cultural Heritage

Raimund Krob, President, Ontario Underwater Council

Ron Irvine, Director of Sport Safety, Ontario Underwater Council

John Delorey, President, Mississauga Scuba Club & OUC Member

May Loo, Secretary, Scarborough U/W Club Inc & OUC Member

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goals of this presentation
Goals of this presentation

The goals of this presentation are to communicate to the Ministry of Culture:

  • The mandate of the Ontario Underwater Council (OUC) and who the OUC represents.
  • The OUC’s beliefs with respect to underwater cultural heritage (UCH) sites.
  • What principles/approaches the OUC is in favour of with respect to UCH sites.
  • What approaches the OUC is not in favour of with respect to UCH sites.
ontario underwater council
Ontario Underwater Council
  • Founded in 1958 with the mandate to promote the sport of scuba diving through safety, advocacy, environmental awareness, self-governance, and education.
  • Today the OUC continues to fulfil its mandate by representing Ontario’s scuba diving community at municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government.
  • This community consists of hundreds of scuba diving retailers, charter operators, clubs, and tens of thousands (50,000+) of certified scuba divers.
the ouc believes that
The OUC believes that:
  • Ontario’s wealth of underwater cultural heritage (UCH) must be identified, protected, and promoted.
  • A simple approach, based on universally-accepted principles, must be the cornerstone of any plan to identify, protect, and promote Ontario’s UCH.
  • Ontario’s (tens of thousands of) scuba divers are the Ministry of Culture’s greatest allies in identifying, protecting, and promoting the province’s UCH.
  • The greatest threats to Ontario’s UCH are natural environmental causes and (unintentional) commercial activities such as commercial fishing, shipping, and salvaging, not scuba diving activities.
  • The most effective way of identifying, protecting, and promoting Ontario’s UCH is through a program of education of all stakeholders (e.g. underwater archaeologists, commercial fishing operators, commercial salvage operators, commercial shipping operators, commercial charter operators, scuba diving training and certification agencies, scuba divers, etc.)
the ouc is in favour of
The OUC is in favour of:
  • Strict penalties for any/all person/s convicted of destroying or damaging Ontario’s UCH.
  • A simple, “look, but do not touch” policy for all UCH designated sites.
  • Clear and concise criteria for determining which sites should be considered UCH (and which sites, by exclusion, would not be).
  • An online registry that identifies the locations, features, characteristics, etc. of all of UCH designated sites.
  • A simple process by which UCH sites could be added to (or removed from) the online registry.
  • Permits/licenses being required only for any “touch” activity/ies directed at any UCH designated site (would not apply to “look” activities).
  • Permits/licenses expiring after 2 years, renewable upon submission of an acceptable report of activities/findings.
  • Requiring that any/all people engaging in “touch” activities directed at any UCH designated site have the appropriate training, certification, credentials (e.g. certified archaeologist, NAS I, II, III, etc.) to do so.
  • Enlisting commercial fishing operators to help stop the continuing destruction of UCH sites through fishing net entanglement.
the ouc can help by
The OUC can help by:
  • Working with scuba training agencies to create a “distinctive specialty course*” that focuses on:
    • The globally unique nature and value of Ontario and Great Lakes underwater cultural heritage sites (UCH)
    • The historical value of our UCH
    • Techniques for zero impact diving
    • Local Laws pertaining to diving on UCH
    • Becoming advocates for the identification, protection, and promotion of our underwater cultural heritage, both above and below the water

*The audience for this course would be divers interested in underwater cultural heritage (NAS I, II, & III courses) and diving beyond entry-level.

  • Working with Scuba stores and Scuba clubs to ensure key components of the distinctive specialty course are incorporated into all entry level training** as well

**The audience for this content would be entry level divers or inactive divers seeking refresher training

the ouc is opposed to
The OUC is opposed to:
  • Anything that suggests that the scuba diving community is the primary threat to UCH, when in fact, it is the exact opposite that is true.
  • Any “do not look” policies for any UCH designated sites.
  • Unenforceable legislation/regulation relating to UCH sites
  • Monetary incentives for identifying UCH sites.
  • Complicated processes for identifying UCH
  • Ambiguous criteria for determining UCH
  • Issuance of more than one license for “touch” activity at the same UCH site at the same time.
  • Not making UCH site information publicly available.
back up slide s
Back-up Slide/s
  • OUC Estimate of Threats to UCH