Enter Cressi. Founded in 1938 in Genoa, Italy, Cressi has grown into one of the world’s most well-known manufacturers of dive equipment. And, just like the rest of us, they’re itching to get wet after too much time topside. Because many of us will be sticking closer to home this summer, Cressi has created a #divelocal campaign. Every week, the Cressi YouTube channel will premiere a video focusing on the diving in each of the 50 states, beginning with Massachusetts. Local dive shops — all Cressi dealers — have been asked to send in video clips sharing the best dive locations near them.
Being part of an active local dive community is one of the best ways to stay engaged in our sport, and, by highlighting local destinations, Cressi hopes to both keep regular divers inspired and bring potential new divers into the fold. According to Jennifer Chavez, a Cressi marketing executive, the campaign seeks to remind us that there’s lots of great diving in our own backyard. “Dive Local encourages local tourism,” she says. “We can rediscover places close to us that may have been going unnoticed, and they’re perfect for adventures with your family or friends.”
Once the Cressi team has received footage from dive shops, they consolidate the clips into one video for release not only on YouTube, but also on their other social media channels like Instagram and Facebook. The videos feature a wide variety of underwater attractions, from wrecks to animal life.
Chelsey Richardson, the lead dive instructor at Express Watersports in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, sent footage in to the Cressi team, and couldn’t be more pleased with the resulting video. She hopes that encouraging people to dive locally will also help encourage them to patronize local dive retailers.
“Supporting local shops is important so that you can learn about the environment that you live around,” she says. “People will only protect what they love and understand, so diving locally will inspire them to better care for the environment around them because they have experienced it firsthand.”
Although we all love to travel to dive, just because we’ll spend the summer closer to home doesn’t mean we can’t make remarkable discoveries. No matter if you’re on the Eastern Seaboard, the West Coast or somewhere in between, there’s something to see when it comes to diving locally.
“Here in South Carolina you can have a great day of diving no matter the conditions,” says Richardson. “We have had crystal-clear visibility where we are awed by the beauty of mantas and sharks. If the visibility is a bit lower, the diver can appreciate the smaller beauty of the wrecks that they may normally overlook, such as a camouflaged deer cowrie or a shy arrow crab. You aren’t missing out by not traveling to far-away places because our coast has everything you are looking for.”