FLORIDA KEYS: CONSERVATION IS KEY -
TEEN SCUBA AND MARINE CONSERVATION PROGRAM
Join us on a teen SCUBA community service trip and marine conservation program in the Florida Keys. As we begin to piece together the damage from Hurricane Irma in Florida, scientists are pointing to the ongoing loss of coral on the already threatened barrier reef as a key environmental factor that may have made the storm’s impact worse. Coral reefs are our first line of defense, and when degraded, we put ourselves at much greater risk.
This summer, earn your PADI Open Water Scuba Certification and/or build upon previous certifications while diving in one of the world’s most versatile and breathtaking dive destinations. Work alongside conservation scientists and marine biologists to reconstruct coral reefs with Coral Restoration Foundation, started by CNN Hero, Ken Nedimyer. Make valuable connections with scientists and environmental professionals, while having the adventure of a lifetime.
Putting our passion for marine biology to work, we aid in underwater fish identification and lionfish eradication, visit a sea turtle hospital, help with turtle conservation efforts, volunteer at a bird sanctuary and support efforts to restore these animals to their habitat. We explore the Everglades and surrounding waters by sea kayak and snorkel the fauna-rich waters. We also experience the depths of an ancient ship wreck, attend a local fish festival, explore the charming Keys, and dive in the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef.
Florida Keys // You Don't Want to Miss...
#1 Scuba Diving
The Florida Keys Reef Tract is the third largest barrier reef system in the world and the only living coral reef system in the continental United States! Home to a wide array of flora and fauna, the Keys are a great place to learn to scuba dive or improve existing skills.
#2 Work with the Coral Restoration Foundation
Founded by CNN Hero, Ken Nedimyer, Coral Restoration Foundation has grown more than 25,000 staghorn and elkhorn corals in 1-acre underwater nurseries. Click here to learn more about how the Coral Restoration Foundation and other organizations help ocean life fight climate change.
#3 REEF Fish Identification
With an underwater slate and pencil, any diver can become an active ocean steward, citizen, and scientist while collecting data for Project REEF.
#4 Everglades National Park Sea Kayaking
Explore this remarkable landscape with the help of renowned guide Garl Harrold, location expert on the award-winning National Geographic film "The Everglades - A Watery Wilderness," who has provided his local knowledge and expertise to CNN, The New York Times, Disney IMAX, and many others.
#5 Lionfish Invasive Species Education and Elimination
First-hand research and education about the lionfish address the biological and ecological issues raised by this invasive species.
#6 Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
More than 2,900 square nautical miles of water surround the Florida Keys. Administered by National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the national marine sanctuary offers world-class diving, swimming, snorkeling, and fishing.
#7 Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
Since 1995, the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center has rescued more than 16,000 birds and returned them to their natural habitat. Volunteers assist with the bird care at the center.
Florida is home to the only living coral barrier reef in the continental U.S. Reef fish, lobsters, and turtles abound amid the pristine beauty. Warm waters and shallow depth make it very inviting for snorkelers.
#9 Everglades National Park
The Everglades protect nearly 800 species of land and water vertebrates (including 14 threatened species). Resident species include 25 mammals, over 400 birds, at least 60 reptiles, amphibians and insects (including two threatened swallowtail butterfly species and the indigo snake), and more than 275 fish, plus the threatened manatee.
For more information about this program and custom travel arrangement options for your group, please email Corey at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 660-342-9816. Round Trip Airfare is available if needed.