What is NABS?

The National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS) was established in 1991 by Ric Powell and Dr A. Jose Jones. Ric Powell and Dr. Jones were two of the earliest African-Americans to become certified divers, and their collaboration resulted in the creation of NABS whose purpose is to foster camaraderie among African American divers, and to address the unique problems and concerns of the African-American community. Since the founding of NABS in 1991, the organization has seen over 3,000 members across the country and internationally.  Currently, NABS maintains an active mailing list of over 900 members.  


Our membership is open to anyone regardless of race, color, gender, handicap, or diving agency affiliation. We are open to all who share our love of the oceans and of the marine world.  All who are pledged to protect, enjoy and help to conserve this marine environment with which we are entrusted are also welcomed to join with us.


NABS mission is to create a network of people and resources that provide educational experiences that enhance and promote an appreciation of diving and an awareness of the aquatic environment. This network will build unity and camaraderie to transfer the legacy to future generations.


NABS vision for the future is:

  • To promote scuba diving, water sports skills, and environmental awareness and conservation.
  • To help develop educational programs that will stimulate interest and 
  • To provide scholarships for college students studying marine and environmental sciences
  • To sponsor an annual NABS convention.
  • To sponsor scuba trips 
  • and open water educational experiences.
  • To serve as a clearinghouse for scuba safety, training, and technical information.

You can contact NABS at correspond@nabsdiver.org or at 800-521-6337.