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"Diving In" to December 2019 with the Coral Chronicles

Updated: Jan 22, 2020


Last month, the Coral Restoration Foundation™ team travelled to Orlando, Florida to attend DEMA Show 2019. DEMA Show is the second largest dive show in the world. The event is coordinated by The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA), and brings together over 600 leading dive equipment manufacturers, travel destinations, apparel wholesalers and service providers, nonprofit organizations and other dive professionals. Attendees and exhibitors are able to expand their areas of expertise and develop professional relationships around the globe at DEMA Show.

CRF™ participated at the event as an exhibitor. The team set up a booth that included a life size coral tree, a monitor featuring underwater footage of our operation, CRF™ merchandise, and of course, five smiling CRF™ faces! Our Communications Director, Alice Grainger, and our Volunteer and Dive Coordinator, Roxane Boonstra, attended the event along with our Marketing Associate, Shelby Cornell, and Program Interns, Sabine Bailey and Samantha Simpson.

The CRF™ team had a blast talking with so many folks from the diving industry - over 400 people to be specific! We signed up new divers interested in volunteering with us and spread the word about our mission to save coral reefs. We even created #ClimateOfChange t-shirts for attendees to wear all week long at the DEMA Show. It was truly a conversation starter! Attendees could also “plant a coral” by decorating a coral cutout with a hopeful message and hang it on our coral tree.

Communications Director, Alice Grainger, Volunteer and Dive Coordinator, Roxane Boonstra, Marketing Associate, Shelby Cornell, and Program Interns, Sabine Bailey and Samantha Simpson at DEMA Show 2019.

In addition to sharing about the work we do at CRF™, the team had the opportunity to attend professional development sessions featuring industry trends, current economic topics, and technical training. Thank you to all who stopped by our booth to say hi! It’s safe to say that DEMA Show 2019 was one for the books!



This past Monday, we welcomed journalists from all over the UK and France for a snorkel dive program. In the morning, they joined Communications Program Intern, Sabine, and Education Program Intern, Shane, for a brief yet thorough presentation on the current coral crisis and what CRF™ is doing to fight it. We swiftly proceeded to Rainbow Reef Dive Center to board a charter boat and head to our Tavernier Nursery. Blimey, were we in for a brilliant surprise!

Upon arrival, we were gobsmacked by 15 nurse sharks swimming in the nursery, a sight never seen there before! They continued to swim around the nursery while we gave the tour, highlighting the various sections of the Tavernier Nursery. After this incredible sighting, we continued to Pickles Reef #3 to show off some of our previously outplanted corals. We were delighted to see some of our elkhorn outplants thriving!

© Shane Gallimore/Coral Restoration Foundation

Although there was no tea, there were plenty of biscuits to go around during the snorkel trip! The program was a short and sweet success, and the journalists had a wonderful time. Thank you NewmanPR for organizing this media trip to the Keys! We’re grateful for their time and eagerness to spread our message.



This month we had a Coral Restoration Dive Program on November 16 with an organization called DiveN2Life, an extracurricular STEM program for children and youth. The program uses SCUBA as a way to facilitate education and growth. The dive program was open to the public, and 16 people joined us across a large age range. Some were returning dive program participants, while others were family of the CRF™ team.

© Shane Gallimore/Coral Restoration Foundation

Once all 16 people were loaded onto the boat, we headed out to the nursery to harvest corals ready for outplanting. Once harvested, we headed to Pickles Reef. After all was said and done, 56 corals found their new home on the reef! Key Dives facilitated the trip, and here is what their Marine Conservation Coordinator, Cortney Benson, said:

This was another wonderful Coral Restoration Foundation™ outplanting adventure! I am always delighted at the engagement and excitement of our diving customers when they get to take part in such a unique and special conservation action. I am also very appreciative of the CRF™ staff and interns who do their best to make sure that the divers receive the full coral restoration experience even in adverse weather conditions. Overall, the divers had a fantastic trip and learned a lot about coral restoration efforts in the Keys.

Video courtesy of DiveN2Life

Thank you to all who participated in this truly rewarding day! For more information about our dive programs or to sign up, contact our Recreational Dive Program Coordinator Roxane (


"Diving In" Editorial Interns

Darcy graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in Biology and a certificate in Underwater Resource Management.  Growing up landlocked in the Midwest, her love for the ocean began with yearly family trips to Florida.  Once in college, she got involved in an underwater science program and obtained her Rescue Diver certification.  Additionally, she was able to study abroad in both Grand Cayman and the Dominican Republic.  These trips inspired her to get involved with ocean conservation so that beautiful reef habitats can be sustained for current and future generations alike.  She aims to one day be a research scientist with a focus in corals and is enthralled to learn everything she can from the incredible team at CRF™.

Sabine recently graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada with a major in Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies. Growing up in Vietnam, Sabine had the opportunity to travel to multiple reefs in Asia and got her Junior Open Water certification at just 10 years old! Since then, Sabine has performed fish population abundance surveys for a Shark Conservation Project in Fiji, interned at an environmental consulting firm, worked in an aquatic invasive species lab, and attained her Rescue Diver certification. Sabine always knew she wanted to return to the ocean and applied to study abroad in Brisbane, Australia in her third year of university. There she took a marine field course studying the state of corals at the Heron Island Research Station in the Great Barrier Reef and was devastated to see its progressive state of decline. However, participating in CRF’s work, Sabine is filled with renewed optimism and hopes to inspire future generations towards a bluer and healthier planet.

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