Updated: Sep 7, 2021
SNORKELING WITH CORAL RESTORATION FOUNDATION™
Our Dive Programs are not just for SCUBA divers, we work with all skill levels including snorkelers! Though snorkelers cannot return corals to the reef directly they still experience a once in a lifetime trip learning about the science behind our techniques, visiting our coral nursery and the reef, and talking with our incredible, passionate Coral Crew!
Snorkelers practice their free diving skills during a CRF™ Dive Program trip to the reef! ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
One of our most recent snorkel trips brought Ransom Everglades High School to Key Largo for a non-diving, Dive Program. Instead of suiting up with our BCDs and tanks, we just grabbed our masks, snorkels, fins and dove in! Just like a SCUBA Diving Program they spent the morning learning about our mission to restore coral reefs to a healthy state, how to clean coral trees in our coral nursery and how to secure corals on the reef.
Ransom Everglades High School students pose for a photo before heading out to our Coral Tree™ Nursery and the coral reef! ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
In the afternoon we headed out for a snorkel trip to see our coral nursery from above. With over 500 Coral Trees it is a remarkable sight. After visiting our nursery, we brought the group to the coral reef where they monitored corals just like our dive team would. The snorkelers had a blast learning to freedive and hover a few feet over the reef to see the corals up close. They looked for health markers like predators, disease, bleaching, and our coral ID tags!
“I love working with snorkelers to identify our coral outplants on the reef! It is important to us at CRF™ to teach everyone about corals, especially snorkelers since anyone can go snorkeling! We want to help as many people get involved with our mission as possible" says Tessa, our Communications Program Intern.
Snorkelers float just above the coral reef during a CRF™ Dive Program snorkel trip! ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
Some of our Coral Crew prefer snorkeling trips to SCUBA because we can talk to participants the entire time! While we are in the water, we can explain what the group is seeing and answer questions. Whether we are diving or snorkeling we are always happy to get people involved with coral restoration!
To start the month of May, Lett’s Dive, a dive shop headquartered in St. Petersburg, FL hosted a special coral restoration trip for their community and came to Key Largo for our Dive Program! This is their second time joining us on a restoration adventure and we were excited to share our work with the 10 members of this awesome group.
“This past weekend was amazing. We had some newer divers with us this time, but the weather cooperated perfectly and everyone got to outplant! Our divers could not say enough about how good our guides Chris (Dive Program Intern) and Tom (CRF™ Intern) were, and how knowledgeable they were about coral" says Lett's Dive Trip Organizer Erin Langenburg
Chris Renolds giving his last morning presentation to Lett’s Dive ©Erin Langenburg
This was Dive Program Intern Chris Renolds’ last dive as an intern at CRF™. We are excited to see him advance in his career further, taking the skills he learned with us forward.
“Having the opportunity to lead CRF's public Dive Programs allowed me to connect with so many diverse people from all backgrounds and interests, each having their own reason and purpose for diving into coral conservation" says Chris Renolds.
Lett’s Dive member cleaning a coral tree in Carysfort Nursery ©Erin Langenburg
The Dive Program started with hands on training on land at our Exploration Center and was followed by a trip out to sea with Silent World. Everyone helped us care for and clean the Coral Trees at our Carysfort Nursery and the group returned 48 staghorn coral to Carysfort Reef!
It is the start of our Summer 2021 Internship, and we have new Coral Chronicles authors! Charis Peterson has transitioned from Science Program intern to Dive Program Intern and will be sharing our stories from the field through Diving In. Charis began her CRF™ internship in May 2020, after graduating with her master’s degree in Biotechnology from University of Houston Clear Lake.
Charis shows off her buoyancy control in our Coral Tree™ nursery! ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
“I am excited to bring my background from the Science Department into Dive Programs. I have spent years learning and working in science and am excited to spend time with another passion of mine: educating the public" says Charis.
Charis has a year of CRF™ diving experiences under her belt and is excited to share her knowledge with our Dive Program participants! ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
After learning about the threats and harm humans have caused to coral reefs, Charis decided she did not want to just study coral reefs, but she wanted to be a part of the solution. She is looking forward to sharing her passion for coral reefs with dive program participants.
RESOURCES FOR YOU
BE THE FACE OF CORALPALOOZA™ 2021
We're looking for inspiring 10-second videos that tell the world about how you #CHOOSEYOURCHANGE! Tell us about an easy ecofriendly change you have made to help save coral reefs and upload it on our website!
Then, tune into Coralpalooza™ Digital 2021 on June 6th to see your video shared with our coral loving community!
Need an example of a #ChooseYourChange video? Madalen is here to show you!
Madalen Howard is CRF's Marketing Associate. Madalen comes to CRF™ via a winding road from the Tennessee hills, to the South Carolina low country, ending here in Florida’s Coral Reef. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Marine Biology and a Minor in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston in 2016. Her experience ranges from field research to education, and communications.
Madalen spent the last 4 years as a Field Instructor and Social Media Strategist for MarineLab Environmental Education Center. Here she was able to study and teach marine ecology, while snorkeling through mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs every day. While at MarineLab she combined her education and research background, entered the world of communications, and developed MarineLab’s social media department from the ground up.
Throughout her life Madalen has had a skill connecting people with nature. With CRF™, she is excited to bring people into the world of coral restoration, creating inclusive pathways to scientific discovery.
"Diving In" Editorial Intern
Charis grew up in Michigan where her curiosity for the underwater world started in the local rivers and lakes. She always had a passion for marine biology. While she was in high school, her family unexpectedly had to relocate to coastal Georgia. Moving across the country allowed her to pursue her passion. After learning about the threats and harm humans have caused to coral reefs, she decided she did not want to just study coral reefs, but she wanted to be a part of the solution.
Charis is a recent graduate from the University of Houston-Clear Lake with a M.S. in Biotechnology and a concentration in Molecular Biotechnology. She received her B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Coastal Ecology from the College of Coastal Georgia in 2017. She is a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and has enjoyed working as a dive professional in the British Virgin Islands and the Florida Keys. Charis is excited to intern with CRF™ because she is passionate about educating the public on how to protect our oceans.