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Popular Dive Spot in Pennsylvania faces closure

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Popular Dive Spot in Pennsylvania faces closure

Fri, 20/08/2021 - 14:50
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Dutch Springs, a popular inland dive location in the Northeast, is facing closure. The land has been sold to a developer who reportedly plans to use it for a massive warehouse.

Diver Olga Torrey explores the Challenger 600 airplane at Dutch Springs

Dutch Springs has been the location for sport, technical, and public safety divers to gather for the last 41 years. Divers travel to Dutch from all over the Northeast for training, socializing, or underwater fun. 

Dutch Springs is crowded with open water students, technical divers trying new gear, and photographers practicing their art every summer weekend. Owner Stu Schooley and his staff have done a remarkable job filling the lake with attractions, including various boats, trucks, airplanes, a school bus, and helicopters.

The pump house, when this was a working limestone quarry, is underwater to explore, and there are platforms at different depths for training exercises. Dutch Springs is truly an aquatic playground. In the newspaper USA Today's travel section, Dutch Springs was listed as one of the "10 great places to go scuba diving right here in the US".

The area around Dutch Springs was surrounded by nature and family farms. However, in the last few years, this charming area has been taking over by large warehouses.

This could be the future for Dutch Springs. Wanting to retire, Stu Schooley has sold the property to the Lehigh Valley Trade Center. They are planning to build two 300,000 square-foot buildings on the premises. The construction is still pending approval by the Lower Nazareth Township planning commission. (1)

The park will remain open this season, and the annual New Year's Day dive is expected to take place. The park might open for the 2022 season, but it is unlikely. 

This news has devasted the Northeast dive community. We wish Stu well, but dive clubs, shops, and other parties are working to allow access to the water. 

To sign a petition to allow access to the water, visit: https://bit.ly/3D2rflr

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Pressereleases from Divers Alert Network (DAN)