ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — The Florida Keys’ History of Diving Museum’s founder, Dr. Sally Bauer, received the NOGI Award by the Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences, considered the highest honor in the scuba diving industry, at the DEMA dive trade conference in Las Vegas Thursday, Nov. 15, among national and international members of the diving and underwater community.
An “Oscar” award of sorts, the NOGI statuette was originally designed for the New Orleans-Grand Isle international scuba divers spearfishing contest in 1960.
Although the tournament was discontinued decades ago, today the award continues to recognize ocean-related leaders who have had significant impact on the exploration, enjoyment, safety and preservation of the underwater world in the fields of art, distinguished services, environment, science and sports-education.
Dr. Bauer was acknowledged for her contributions in sports-education within the diving community, devoted to teaching others how to make diving safe and enjoyable, and about the oceans and life within.
Sally combined her love of the sea with her career as an emergency room physician when she began diving in the 1960’s. In 2005, she and her late husband Dr. Joe Bauer donated their collection of historic dive gear and artifacts to create the nonprofit History of Diving Museum, in Islamorada. Bauer is also a Women Divers Hall of Fame inductee (2011).
The one-of-a-kind museum in the Florida Keys has the world’s largest internationally diverse collection on display, spanning over 4,000 years’ worth of diving history and man’s quest to explore under the sea. Visitors enjoy viewing expansive artifacts, as well as a unique book assemblage in the Diving History Research Library. Publications dating from the 1500’s cover all forms of diving topics as well as nautical fiction and nonfiction.
World-renowned marine artist and part-time Florida Keys resident, Wyland has also been honored with the NOGI award in 1998 for his contributions to the arts.
History of Diving Museum: divingmuseum.org or 305-664-9737
Islamorada visitor information: fla-keys.com/islamorada or 1-800-FAB-KEYS
Historically significant helmets like this Mark V are on display.