ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — The founder of the Florida Keys’ History of Diving Museum, Dr. Sally Bauer, received the NOGI Award from the Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences in Las Vegas Thursday, Nov. 15. Considered the highest honor in the scuba diving industry, Bauer’s NOGI was presented at the DEMA dive trade conference in the company of national and international members of the diving and underwater community.
An “Oscar” award of sorts, the NOGI statuette originally was designed for the 1960 New Orleans–Grand Isle international scuba divers spearfishing contest.
Although the tournament was discontinued decades ago, today the award recognizes ocean-related leaders who have had significant impact on the exploration, enjoyment, safety and preservation of the underwater world in the fields of art, sports and education, distinguished services, environment and science.
Bauer was honored for her contributions in sports and education within the diving community. She is devoted to teaching others how to make diving safe and enjoyable, and about the oceans and life within.
Bauer combined her love of the sea with her career as an emergency room physician when she began diving in the 1960s. In 2005 she and her late husband Dr. Joe Bauer donated their vast collection of historic dive gear and artifacts to create the nonprofit History of Diving Museum in Islamorada, Florida. In 2011 she was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame.
The one-of-a-kind museum in the Florida Keys has the world’s largest and most internationally diverse collection on display, spanning 4,000 years’ worth of diving history and documenting humankind’s quest to explore the sea. Visitors can view rare and priceless artifacts as well as unique and antiquarian books in the Diving History Research Library. Publications dating from the 1500s cover all forms of diving topics as well as nautical fiction and nonfiction.
World-renowned marine artist and part-time Florida Keys resident Wyland also has been honored with the NOGI Award, receiving it in 1998 for his contributions to the arts.
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