The board of the API Delta Section recently voted to support two new charities; the Aquatic Robotics Camp put on by the Maritime Museum in Madisonville and the Gulf of Mexico Foundation.
The Aquatic Robotics Camp is a one week day camp where 10 to 17 year olds can learn about robotics. Each camper constructs an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV), complete with lights, camera, and monitor (see picture below). There are presentations about the ROV industry, ROV demonstrations and videos, and even field trips to area ROV facilities where campers learn from the experts how ROVs are used in industry. At the end of the camp there is a competition as the robots are put through their paces. I was able to attend the competition this year (see picture below) and it was great to see the participant's excitement first hand as they raced their robots to perform various underwater tasks. Thanks in part to the API Delta Section's donation; four underprivileged children were able to attend the camp. This camp fits in well with the other robotics programs that the API Delta Section supports (Bayou Regional Robotics and Lego Robotics). The goal is to get children more interested in math and science and hopefully inspire them to choose a related career path.
I think many people outside our industry may consider The Gulf of Mexico Foundation (GOMF) to be an unusual selection for the API Delta Section to support since it is an environmental organization. Of course, many of the people working in our industry (including me) consider themselves to be environmentalists and do not see a conflict. The GOMF believes the only way to have a sustainable gulf is to have a sustainable ecosystem and sustainable industries (hotels, restaurants, fishing, oil and gas, etc). Their goals are restoration and education. Their programs have improved over 15,000 acres. The GOMF's education programs have reached over half a million students and teachers. They put on a wetlands expedition and a diving expedition for teachers. Teachers from other parts of the country have no idea that each jacket creates its own artificial reef (creating a spectacular fishing spot). We don't often see it in media that this phenomenon brought back the Red Snapper population from near extinction to the current harvest level of 12 million pounds a year. The GOMF has won numerous awards including the 2012 Energy and Environmental Stewardship Award and the 2012 Coastal America Partnership Award.
I am proud that the API Delta Section could help support both of these organizations. Thanks for your continued support of the API Delta Section.