NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Monitor National Marine Sanctuary has named Discovery Diving owner Debby Boyce of Beaufort as its Volunteer of the Year.

Ms. Boyce works to connect the recreational diving community to the sanctuary’s mission of honoring the USS Monitor and the many World War II Battle of the Atlantic shipwrecks off the North Carolina coast. As owner and operator of Discovery Diving, she has furthered these efforts in support of tourism and the “blue” economy by providing staff and interested members of the public with multiple Nautical Archaeology Society training opportunities, according to a release.

Staff is now better prepared and equipped to promote diving on these historic wreck sites in a responsible and sustainable manner, according to Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. Ms. Boyce’s efforts also have made the public more aware of the historical significance of the wrecks and the honor and respect they deserve.

Currently, Ms. Boyce serves as the ocean sport seat representative on the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. She previously held three consecutive terms as one of the representatives for recreational diving. In addition, Ms. Boyce sponsors community bi-annual debris cleanups titled “Dive against Debris” supporting the sanctuary’s core mission, while promoting engagement and ocean conservation.

The Monitor National Marine Sanctuary is situated 16 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras and protects the Civil War ironclad the USS Monitor which sank in route to Beaufort during a storm in December 1862. The wreck was discovered in 1973. The sanctuary is managed by the National Oceanic and Atmoshperic Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

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