Our Board

OAR is made up of a dues-paying membership base and a dedicated group of volunteers. The organization is governed by a non-paid board of directors which holds regular meetings open to all members. OAR supports itself through membership dues, grants, donations, sale of promotional items and proceeds raised by The Big Bend Saltwater Classic fishing tournament.

Board Members

organization for artificial reefs OAR Alan RichardsonAlan Richardson, OAR Board Director for 2010-2011, has been a member of OAR since 1994. He joined the OAR Board as board member in 2007, after serving in numerous positions (including Chairman in 1997 and 1998) with the Big Bend Saltwater Classic, the sister non-profit fundraising organization to OAR. Alan has been active in the Big Bend fishing and diving community since the early eighties, and also volunteers his boat when needed for OAR Research Dive Team activities. Alan graduated from FSU in 1990 and is a commercial real estate agent when not volunteering for OAR.

organization for artificial reefs OAR Lynda Tiefel diverLynda Tiefel joined OAR and the RDT in 2007, and holds Advanced Open Water and Rescue Certification. She is a registered nurse, has earned Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries and is an American Heart Association Instructor for Basic Life Support. Lynda is the BLS instructor for the OAR RDT. Her hobbies include underwater photography and reef building.

organization for artificial reefs OAR Karen GottiKaren Strange joined OAR in 2001, has been a member of the RDT since 2002 and has served as Board Treasurer since 2008. Karen’s SCUBA certifications include Nitrox, Research Diver, Underwater Naturalist and Rescue Diver. She received her MA in Linguistics from the Julius-Maximilians Universitaet Wuerzburg in 1996.

organization for artificial reefs OAR Billy SolbergerBilly Solberger joined OAR in 2009 and became a Board Member that same year. He has been an avid diver for 15 years and angler all his life. He received his SCUBA certification with SSI and has additional certifications in Nitrox and Dive Con; he is also certified as a Research Diver with NAUI. Billy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with an MSW [1982] and BSW [1981] from FSU.

Board Member in Memoriam — January 3rd, 1952 - March 27th, 2014

organization for artificial reefs OAR Della BentzDella Betz joined OAR over 20 years ago and has been actively involved with the Big Bend Saltwater Classic fundraising event, ever since. She served on the BBSC Board of Directors and received the award as its Most Valuable Volunteer in 2004. She became an OAR Board Member in 2010. She is an active angler and frequently visits OAR reefs, commenting that they remain “incredibly productive.” She is grateful that she has never actually landed any of the porpoises that feed on hooked red snapper over OAR’s deepest reef. Della received her BS from FSU in Human Sciences in 1977.

organization for artificial reefs OAR Rob Buda

Rob Buda joined OAR in 1996 with a passion for SCUBA diving and saltwater. He received his SCUBA certification in 1991 and continued additional training in Scientific Diving Methods, Rescue, Dry Suit, Surface-Supplied, Nitrox, Divemaster, and Instructor. He graduated in 1992 in Biology from FSU. He currently holds the position of Research Dive Team Coordinator with OAR. Rob works for the Florida DEP in the Bureau of Beaches and Coastal Systems as a project manager for beach restoration projects.

organization for artificial reefs OAR Della Bentz

Nathan Dunfee joined OAR as a research diver in 2012, then joined the board the following year. He comes from a family of scuba divers and been diving his entire life. His interests in technical diving include research, wreck, cave and experimental rebreather technology. Nathan is a student of biology and environmental policy, and he is an avid environmentalist who is passionate about marine conservation.


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Big Bend Saltwater Classic Information


Big Bend Saltwater Classic

Father's Day weekend 2017

OAR 2017 Membership Drive

Membership Drive - 17 June 2-5pm at Shield's Marina in St. Marks

OAR Monthly Board Meetings

4th Thursdays at 6 pm
2545 Blairstone Pines Drive, Tallahassee, Florida 32301

OAR Research Divers and Reef Deployments

OAR is looking for EXPERIENCED DIVERS for the Volunteer Research Dive Team. The class will meet 5 times and there will be 2 days of check off dives, inshore and offshore. This is technical diving. Contact 850-656-2114 oar@oarreefs.org if you are interested.