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Palm Beach Reef Research Team Bylaws

Position Statement:

The Palm Beach County Reef Research Team is a group of volunteer sport divers operating under the auspices of the Florida Oceanographic Society, a non-profit conservation organization. The primary objective of the Palm Beach County Reef Research Team is to observe, collect, document and record scientific data for use in further enhancing our marine habitats. We envision this effort as a long-range community project spanning many years and involving hundreds of volunteers.

Through education we intend to inform the public of the need for protecting all reefs, both natural and man-made. By example, we will demonstrate good conservation practices on the reefs.

Article I. - Name

This organization shall be known as Palm Beach County Reef Research Team.

Article II. - Purpose and Objectives:

Collect scientifically valid data on natural and artificial reefs for use in further enhancing our understanding of out marine ecosystem.

Dedicate ourselves to the furtherance of the sport of scuba diving together with sound conservation, good sportsmanship and cooperation with and for federal, state and local agencies as well as other worthwhile groups and projects.

Promote fellowship among underwater sportsmen by sponsoring contests, outings and other educational, social and recreational programs.

Provide assistance to the public and scientific community of Florida by providing scientific data concerning reef enhancement productivity and to locate and evaluate sites for future environmental enhancement projects.

Create an opportunity for divers to utilize their skills and experience for the benefit of public interest.

Educate the public of the value of natural and artificial reefs and develop a workable relationship with the scientific community in obtaining information concerning the Fish Enhancement Program.

Article III. - Membership:

Active Membership is open to any person, subject to provisions set forth in the Bylaws, over the age of 18 years who will abide by the Bylaws of the organization and who expresses a desire and willingness to be dedicated to the purpose herein stated. Active Members shall be nationally certified scuba divers. All other non-diving members shall be designated Associate Members.

All Active Team members shall be members of the Florida Oceanographic Society.

Only members, in good standing, shall be entitled to a vote in team affairs. Only Active Members shall be eligible to hold office in the organization. Candidates for office must be active and in good standing for ninety (90) days prior to nominations. Nominations must be held thirty (30) days prior to elections.

To remain in Good Standing the member must attended at least 75% of the team activities in the prior three (3) months and be fully paid in all dues and fees (or have made arrangements for the payment thereof).

Active Members will be entitled to one vote each and all other rights and privileges according to the Bylaws provided they are not more than two (2) months in arrears in their annual dues.

The applicant shall be provided with a copy and will have read and agreed to the Bylaws of this team. The applicant shall execute a statement that he/she has read and agreed to the Bylaws and will be bound by them and will provide an original and one copy (front and back) of their nationally recognized certification card and shall sign such other and further document as the team deems necessary or useful to accomplish its team purposes.

Active Members shall have the right to bring a non-member guest on team dives. Any Active Member bringing a guest to a team dive shall be responsible for the conduct and behavior of his/her guest. In the event that there are limited resources (for example, spaces on a dive boat) for which both members and guests are competing, the Active Member shall be entitled to take priority and precedence over the Associate Member and non-member guest and shall be entitled to all available resources before any non-member guest will be entitled to same.

Active Membership dues shall be $10.00 per year per person. Membership dues are not refundable or transferable.

The dues stated in this Article shall be in addition to any membership dues charged by the Florida Oceanographic Society.

Article IV. - Officers:

The elected officers of the Team shall be the Team Coordinator, Team Assistant Coordinator, Secretary, Treasurer, Science Coordinator, Training Coordinator, and Dive Coordinator. All other Team offices shall be established as the Executive Committee and/or a majority of the Team Members so designate.

All elective officers shall be nominated at the meeting to be held on the meeting night in November of each year. The nominees shall be voted upon and elected at the annual election to be held on the meeting night in December of each year. Officers shall be installed in January of the following year and shall hold this office for one year, or until their successors are elected and qualified. Voting shall be by secret ballot. Officers shall serve without pay.

Upon demand of a quorum of the Membership or upon recommendation of the Executive Committee as ratified by a quorum of the Members present at any meeting an officer may be removed from office. Said officer shall have the right to speak in his/her own behalf.

Any officer missing three (3) consecutive meetings will be notified that unless he/she attends the next meeting, his/her office will be considered vacant.

The outgoing or past Team Coordinator shall be appointed as a member of the Executive Committee for a term of one year after his/her departure from office.

No individual may hold the same office for more than five consecutive terms.

Duties of the Team Coordinator:

The duties of the Team Coordinator shall be:

  • To preside at all meetings of the team.
  • To appoint any person or committees not otherwise ordered by the team.
  • To personally represent the team on proper occasions and business contracts.
  • To assist all other officers of the team in the performance of their duties.
  • To promote interest on the part of each team member on team life and activities.
  • To vote only when one vote is necessary to break a tie.
  • The Team Coordinator shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the team, shall have general and active management of the business and affairs of the team subject to the directions of the Executive Committee.

In the event that a presiding officer relinquishes his/her post or is fails to perform the duties of his/her office, nominations shall be held at the next regular meeting with election and installation at the following meeting. Nominations from the floor will still be taken on the third meeting.

Duties of the Team Assistant Coordinator:

The duties of the Team Assistant Coordinator shall be:

  • To perform the duties of the Team Coordinator in his absence.
  • To act as Program Chairman whose duties shall be as the Team Coordinator directs.
  • To oversee the activities of the Science Coordinator and Database Manager.
  • To collect the sign-up sheet at Team meetings.
  • To schedule dives with the boat.
  • To assist in any other manner which the Team Coordinator deems necessary.

Duties of the Secretary:

The duties of the Secretary shall be:

  • To have custody of and maintain all of the team records except the financial records.
  • To record all the minutes of all meetings of the Team and Executive Committee.
  • To perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Executive Committee or Team Coordinator.
  • To send out notices of all regular and special meetings.
  • To handle all team correspondence.
  • To perform such other duties as generally fall to that office.
  • To retain copies of all team correspondence by any other member.

The Duties of the Treasurer:

The duties of the Treasurer shall be:

  • To collect dues from all members.
  • To collect all other money due the team.
  • To make all payments from team funds when so ordered by the team.
  • To order supplies for the Team.

The Treasurer shall have custody of all team funds and financial records, shall keep full and accurate reports of disbursements and render account thereof at each team meeting and whenever else required by the Executive Committee or Team Coordinator, and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Executive Committee or Team Coordinator.

All expenditures over $50.00, including the Reef Research Account, must be approved by the Executive Committee. All disbursement vouchers are to be signed by the Team's Treasurer or by the Team Coordinator. The Executive Committee is encouraged to submit expenditures over $100.00 for the approval of the Active Members present at any given meeting including the Reef Research Team Account.

Expenditures associated with reef research must first meet the approval of the Reef Research Team Committee. The Team Coordinator will submit the expenditure to the Executive Committee for review. The Reef Research Team Committee must respond to prudent suggestions by the Executive Committee.

The Duties of the Science Coordinator:

The duties of the Science Coordinator shall be:

  • To compile reports of Team dives assisted by other Team members.
  • To oversee the activities of the Fish, Invert, Mapping/Physical Data, and Photography/Videography Team Leaders.

The Duties of the Training Coordinator:

The duties of the Training Coordinator shall be:

  • To organize and schedule research diver training classes.
  • To maintain training records.
  • To maintain diver certification records.
  • To coordinate with the Treasurer for the ordering of training-related supplies.

The Duties of the Dive Coordinator:

The Duties of the Dive Coordinator shall be:

  • To assign tasks on each dive.
  • To provide the dive roster to the Science Coordinator.
  • To assure that a Team member to fill the role of Dive Coordinator will be present on any dive the Dive Coordinator is unable to attend.

Article V. - Executive Committee:

Function: The business of this team shall be managed and its team powers exercised by the Executive Committee. To make recommendations upon Team Member expulsions. To properly investigate and present to the team all business or important activity situations.

Composition: The Executive Committee team shall be composed of the Team Coordinator, Team Assistant Coordinator, Secretary, Treasurer, Science Officer, Training Coordinator, and Dive Coordinator. The outgoing or past Team Coordinator shall be appointed as a member of the Executive Committee for a term of one year after his/her departure from office.

Qualifications: All of the members of the Executive Committee shall be of full age, and at least one shall be a citizen of the United States.

Vacancies in the Executive Committee shall be filled by appointment by a majority of the remaining members of the Executive Committee. That the appointee shall fulfill the appointed office until such time as a new member can be elected in accordance with the various Articles of this, the By-laws, at which time the appointee, if different from the new member elected, shall step down and the new elected member shall be installed as a member of the Executive Committee.

The presence of a majority of all of the Executive Committee Members shall be necessary at any meeting to constitute a quorum to enact business. The act of a majority of Executive Committee Members present at a meeting where a quorum is present shall be the act of the Executive Committee.

Place of Meeting: Executive Committee meetings may be held within or without the State of Florida.

Time of Meeting: Meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held monthly and at other times upon the call of the Team Coordinator or by a majority of the Executive Committee Members. Notice of each special meeting shall be given by the Secretary to each Committee Member not less than five (5) days before that meeting unless each Committee Member shall waive notice thereof before, at or after the meeting. These meetings shall be open to any Team Member who desires to attend.

Article VI. - Meetings:

The regular meetings of the team shall be held monthly. The Team Coordinator or Executive Committee may call a special meeting at any time by mailing a notice to all Team Members at least five (5) days in advance.

The annual meeting of the Team Members of this team shall be held on the second Tuesday of December, unless and until these By-laws be amended as provided for herein.

The annual meeting shall include the election of officers.

At least ten, (10) Active Members, in good standing shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of team business.

Every Team Member having the right and entitled to vote at any meeting of the Team Members shall be entitled, upon each proposal presented at the meeting, to one vote.

Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the parliamentary proceedings of this team, unless otherwise provided in the By-laws. The order of business for each meeting shall be listed as an agenda in the newsletter to be published prior to that meeting.

Article VII. - Amendment:

These By-laws may be amended by the Executive Committee, subject to approval by a majority of the Active Team Members present, so long as they constitute a quorum, at the next monthly meeting.

Article VIII. - Suspension or Termination of Membership:

Upon a complaint of conduct on the part of any member, which might reflect unfavorably on the organization as a whole, said member may be expelled by a quorum present at any meeting. Any member so expelled shall immediately surrender his/her membership card and any team property, in his/her possession, to a team officer and shall be ineligible to participate in any Team activity.

Charges must be submitted in writing and the member given a hearing before the Executive Committee, which in turn will report its findings to the team with its recommendation that the charges be considered as proven and the member expelled, or the charges be considered not proven and the accused remain a member of the team.

Two/thirds of the Team Members present at any meeting, so long as a quorum is present, can over-ride the officers and Executive Committee upon motion duly made and seconded by such Team Members.

Any member who commits an infraction of any diving rule as set forth by the Dive Committee (said committee to be organized and administered by the Team Dive Coordinator) or willfully acting dangerously or causing harm to another person, or themselves, while diving, shall be subject to dismissal from the Team. Any officer may suspend the dive privileges a member for any such infraction or unsafe practice, said suspension being effective immediately upon notification to the offending member. The offending member, on the instant of notification, shall be suspended from all activities of the Palm Beach County Reef Research Team or any subsidiary until the monthly Executive Committee meeting following such suspension at which time the offending member shall have the right to be heard in his/her own behalf. The Executive Committee shall make a determination of the member's status, including suspension or dismissal from the Team, subject to ratification by a majority of the Active Team members at the next following monthly Team meeting.

Should any Member leave the Team for any and all reasons whatsoever, that Member shall immediately return any and all team property.