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Posted by Ken Kurtis on November 08, 2020 at 19:46:25:

A big change this week involved the Jacques Cousteau plaque in the Avalon Underwater Park. The Cousteau Monument was originally created and installed in the Park in 1997, shortly after Cousteau died. As many of you have seen when you've been diving the Park, the monument consists of a plaque - which we now know was aluminum - placed on a large rock. (The rock was originally upright but eventually tipped over.) But 23 years underwater takes its toll, and the plaque today is a faded version of what it once was.

So, "we" decided it was time for a change. I have been thinking about this for quite some time and contacted someone I know in DF&W - since the Park is an MPA, it's under their jurisdiction - and got permission to proceed. As fate would have it, I mentioned this casually to Dr. Bill one day and he said, "There's another group working on that too." So he put me in touch with Signature Underwater Divers. I had permission but no know-how. They had the know-how - a bunch of them are underwater mechanics - but didn't know how to get permission. Once we merged efforts, we were able to get things going in relatively short order. In fact, it was two months from when we first discussed this to when we actually installed the new bronze plaque last Wednesday. We might modestly say we think it's a nice improvement. We kept the wording of the original plaque (although we corrected two grammatical errors) and added a picture of Cousteau, which we hope personalizes it a bit more.

This absolutely couldn't have been accomplished without the help of the Signature folks (they're the dive club affiliated with Signature Scuba in Rancho Cucamonga) and we are happy to make it a joint effort and our collective collaboration and donation to the diving community. I've put together a 4-minute video (with music of course) of the process if you'd like to see what it took to get this done. It's a little more complicated than glue-and-go.

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