Congratulations to Keller Laros for receiving the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce Pualu Award for Environmental Awareness. This award recognizes an individual or organization in the community that exhibits sensitivity and concern for the environment through innovative environmental practices. Keller was recognized for his contributions for the well-being of manta rays and their marine environment.
This included the founding of Manta Pacific Research Foundation, manta protection in the State of Hawaii, the on going manta identification project in Kona, Hawaii, and rescuing a bottlenose dolphin from fishing line while guiding divers on a manta ray night dive. Keller did his first manta ray night dive in 1985 with Jack’s Diving Locker, the same year Keller became a PADI scuba instructor. He’s been guiding divers on this underwater tour with Jack’s since 1991. Keller is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer #23245 and author of the PADI Distinctive Specialty Course: Manta Ray Diver.
Congratulations to Jack’s Diving Locker’s Wendy Laros for a PADI Certificate of Excellence for furthering manta ray awareness and conservation through diver and dive pro course development. President and CEO of PADI Worldwide, Drew Richardson stated, “We’ve watched you excel through your work at Jack’s with your children’s programs – such a shining example of “how it’s done.” And now this, developing a course that teaches care and conservation of these beautiful marine animals, for academic credit.”
Wendy recently developed and implemented a Manta Naturalist Course through Hawaii Community College as her culminating master’s project with University of Hawaii, Manoa – College of Education. Wendy is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer #44431, became a PADI instructor in 1990, started at Jack’s in 1991 and is currently the Director of Outreach and Education at Jack’s Diving Locker.