Turks And Caicos Inagural Underwater Photography Competition

Set to take place June 1 through August 31, 2005, the Turks and Caicos underwater photographic competition will give scuba divers, free-divers and snorkelers the chance to win exciting prizes based on their underwater photographic skills, according to Lindsey Musgrove, director of tourism for the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board.

"The waters off the coast of Turks and Caicos are some of the most undiscovered in the Caribbean, and perfect for underwater adventurers and photographers of all skill levels," said Musgrove. "We are home to one of the largest coral reef systems in the world, creating an aquatic ecosystem full of eagle rays, black coral, sea turtles, reef and nurse sharks, grouper and barracuda."

With over 40 islands to discover, the Turks and Caicos has a variety of unique dive sites. Providenciales features fabulous coral gardens and sand ribbons. Grand Turk and Salt Cay feature distinctive wall diving, an incredible fish population, and countless manta rays in the summer. With a starfish-scattered white sand bottom, West Caicos is best known for its famous sponge formations. During the months of July and August, French Cay is frequented by mating nurse sharks, between December and March hundreds of migrating humpback whales call the waters of the Turks and Caicos home.

The competition will award prizes in two categories: Amateur and Professional Photographers. Individuals participating in the competition can submit their entries to any participating dive shop or the Tourist Board offices. All entries will be evaluated by an expert team of judges and must be received by August 31. Participants are encouraged to submit entries prior to departing the Islands to ensure authenticity.

To receive more information on travel or learn more about diving and photography in the Turks and Caicos Islands, visit the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board Web site at www.turksandcaicostourism.com or call 1-800-241-0824.