Modern day S.C.U.B.A. (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) was invented in 1942 by Jacques Cousteau and Emile Gagnan. Initially called the Aqua-Lung, it revolutionized underwater exploration. Previously, divers had to be tethered to the surface by an air line which made movement difficult and safety questionable. With SCUBA, divers could now move freely about their underwater environment without worrying about an air line or a surface-pump to deliver them air. The difference was astonishing.
The value of SCUBA was soon realized, and what began as a military invention was quickly implemented into underwater construction, marine research, and recreation.
San Diego Diving
Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, San Diego receives a steady stream of ocean water from the North Pacific Gyre, bringing upwellings rich water. The waters around San Diego are more productive than any tropical ocean, and our coast is frequented by all manners of cetaceans (blue whales, gray whales, orcas, finback whales, minke whales, and many species of dolphin) who pass by San Diego along their migration routes, or come looking for food.
Inshore kelp forests dominate the coastline. And where there are kelp forests, there is life. San Diego is a world renowned diving destination offering an underwater experience very different than that offered by coral reefs.
Making your way through the kelp, parting underwater trees which give way to sunlit clearings that may hide a sunbathing Harbor Seal or a Soupfin shark that hasn’t noticed your presence is as mesmerizing as it sounds. Swaying gently back and forth as fish dip in between your fins and around kelp stalks that reach for the sky is unlike any other type of diving, and it’s truly amazing to witness an ecosystem so in sync.
With all the marine life and activity occurring just off our coast, it’s no wonder San Diego has become a hub for scientific research. The world-renowned Scripps Institute of Oceanography sits on the La Jolla Ecological Reserve (which totals 533 acres of no-take and no-fishing zones!), and research is constantly providing the public with new findings and information about our San Diego oceans.