Ten years ago, the Goldberg family settled in the Keys to establish a dive shop with the goal of providing unparalleled customer service. Since then, they've recruited an amazing team of seven members. This family-oriented team heads to over 60 dives sites along the Keys, and offers an array of dive classes.
What we really appreciate about this dive operator is their dedication to conservation and restoration. In addition to being a Blue Star Operator, Key Dives donates 2% of all dive revenue to reef conservation. We are extremely grateful that Coral Restoration Foundation™ is one of the recipients of this generosity!
Meet Mike Goldberg, one of the founders of Key Dives! His passion for healthy coral reefs reverberates throughout the entire dive shop. It will make you feel instantly inspired to help protect our marine ecosystems.
We spoke with him to learn more about what motivates him, and how he's ready to bring the reefs back to life!
What is your earliest memory of the ocean?
I grew up in San Pedro, California, a very short distance to the ocean. I have very fond memories of looking into the tide pools. I remember seeing the anemones and various other critters, all the while having California sea lions lay out on the rocks less than 50 feet away.
What is your favorite marine creature?
Have you experienced a healthy coral reef ecosystem? If so where, and how did it make you feel?
I made my first dive in the late 80’s and have seen many very healthy reefs. The healthiest I remember is on the North and West side of Ginger Island in the British Virgin Islands.
Have you seen a badly degraded reef system? How did that make you feel?
Honestly, I frequently cry underwater. I am so saddened by the state of our reefs.
What concerns or scares you the most about climate change?
Honestly, I am not scared. What I want to see happen is for those that are attempting to restore our reefs to be prepared for the inevitable. We need "super corals" that can withstand disease and warming ocean temperatures.
Why do you, personally, care about coral reefs?
The ocean has provided my family and I a great life. It would be a great human loss to have the reefs suffer an irreversible demise.
Why is protecting and restoring coral reefs relevant to your brand?
Narrowly speaking, my business will not exist if we completely lose our coral reefs.
Why should the average person care about coral reefs?
It is not different from how forests provide habitat for land animals. Can you imagine losing all habitat for land animals? Just because the majority of people don’t see what is underwater, the loss of our coral reefs equals the loss of the majority of marine life. We need to do everything we can to ensure their survival.
In your opinion, what are some of the most powerful tools at our disposal that we can apply to the mission to save coral reefs?
As the transplant science improves, we need to activate all divers to get involved in restoring our coral reefs.
What do you think are some of the easiest ways that the average person can join the mission to save coral reefs from extinction?
Just like I said before, if you can dive, get involved, and dive to restore our coral reefs.
Do you think there is hope for our coral reefs? Why?
Honestly, I do not know. What I do know is that I will do everything I can by supporting the organizations that are creating "super corals" and raising the long spine sea urchin and spider crabs. I will also get my divers, and any diver willing to listen, to get underwater and work to restore the reef.