|Traveling Thru Nevada
by Everett C. Chase
Who gets excited about a pile of rocks - Geologists do - that makes sense. Who gets excited about rocks under water - a scuba diving Geologist - that makes sense too. So why is Roxanne Dey so excited? She's not a Geologist or a scuba diver.
Roxanne is the Public Affairs Officer for the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and when something happens in her territory she gets excited.
"The RJ came out to cover it! The Boulder City News! 3 TV stations came and they could plug their cameras into this equipment so you could see this under water!"
Folks, it wasn't a submarine, the sucken Titanic, or I'm sorry to say, the B29 Bomber, which many of us are waiting to see come out of the water sometime in the future (www.indepthconsulting.com). It's not even the batch plant which made the concrete for the building of the dam, although it has been mistaken for same.
"All my friends who grew up in Boulder City would say (when the water level was down) you could see the batch plant," says Roxanne who has been in Boulder City since she was nine years old.
"But that's not a batch plant, that concrete ring is actually a water clarifier they used in conjuction with batch plant," she says excitedly.
What brought Roxanne's attention to the activity in the first place was the return of the same diving team who photgraphed the B-29A Superfortress bomber that crashed landed on Lake Mead in July of 1948 and still rests 300 feet below the surface.
"The Submerged Resources Team was here to do a condition assessment for the old batch plant that was used to make concrete for the building of Hoover Dam," says Dey who was basically just doing her job as Public Affairs Officer by inviting the news media to cover the event.
While Lake Mead has suffered a drought, the scuba diving shutterbugs will hardly be out of a job if the lake levels sink as far as they have the past few years.
The 300 feet of water covering the B29 is a challenge even for the best professionals so it's not likely a novice will come up with that sought-after prize.
Uncovering St. Thomas was a thrill for many history seeking photo enthusiasts, but it also brought with it relic seekers who avoid NPS regulations about carting off treasures which excite the likes of Roxanne and her cohorts.
"For me," Roxanne continues, "the team didn't think the people would be as interested in these relics compared to some of the other things they do. I said, I think you're wrong. For someone like me who grew up in Boulder City - yeah, I know, people are fascinated by by the B29 or ship wrecks or submarines - I'm not.
"I think St. Thomas is much more interesting - I like the stories that come from it," says Roxanne whose stories are not limited to Lake Mead and the National Park Service.
"When I worked at DOE (Dept. of Energy) we brought the Jason Project to Las Vegas - the discovery of the Titanic. They figured out a way of using satalite and computer equipment for their search."
Roxanne takes a page from the Jason Project by involving school children in science projects such as the uncovering of the water clarifier.
"I wanted the kids who grew up in Boulder City to have the opportunity to see what is happening and to meet people such as the Submerged Resources Team. They are a very elite National Park Service group of Archeologists and divers who have documented sites all over the world," says Roxanne.