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"Diving In" to April 2022 with the Coral Chronicles

PARTICIPANT PERSPECTIVE

CRF™ offers Dive and Snorkel Programs that are single-day events, perfect for an impactful vacation. Don’t just take it from us; take it from some of our Dive Program participants!

Dr. Scarlett Smash and Craken McCraic of the Marine Conservation Happy Hour podcast join the CRF™ Coral Crew for a public Dive Program!

This year, the Marine Conservation Happy Hour podcast hosts attended a Coral Restoration Foundation™ Dive program that didn’t quite go according to schedule. The in-water snorkeling session was cancelled because of unsafe conditions but that didn’t stop Dr. Scarlett Smash and Craken MacCraic from practicing the basics of coral restoration on land to share with their audience. We asked the hosts why they thought our mission to restore Florida’s Coral Reef would interest their audience.

“The international crisis with coral and the impacts of climate change on the marine environment has led to a major concern in public about these issues...The public often wants to do more (than just donate). Many feel that they have passion and skills that could help make a difference. We wanted to highlight something tangible, with impact, that the public could be informed about that could engage in."

Dr. Scarlett went on to say, "We have already posted some of the podcasts with CRF™ online. The feedback has been positive regarding downloads and likes, and shares of social media posts on the episodes. This is something that resonated with our audience.”

You can listen to the podcasts featuring CRF™ Science Program Manager Amelia, and Communications and Outreach Coordinator Madalen here: https://marineconservationhappyhour.libsyn.com/

CRF™ Restoration Associate Lindsey teaches Dr. Scarlett and Craken to build a Coral Tree™

Both the hosts of Marine Conservation Happy Hour, Dr. Scarlett Smash and Craken MacCraic, are very engaged in ocean conservation activities. “We both learned a lot more about the process of coral restoration and the work of the CRF™ (during our visit). It led us to be more hopeful about the fate of Florida’s corals and the potential that the restoration methods have for helping coral conservation in other areas of the world."


"The CRF™ team was such a welcoming group of people. The openness of CRF™ to teach anyone to help with restoration projects was very gratifying. Many people want to help coral conservation who do not necessarily have a marine biology degree or similar qualifications but have a passion for helping.”

Despite the water portion of the trip being cancelled the Marine Conservation Happy Hour duo felt fulfilled and say they “would love to come back and visit again!”

Coral Restoration Foundation™ works with many organizations and school groups interested in our mission! Private Dive and Snorkel Programs are available for those wanting a tailored experience. If you have further questions about our Dive and Snorkel Programs or would like to set up a private program, please email us at info@coralrestoration.org or call us at (305) 453-7030! 


 

VIEWS OF A VOLUNTEER

Coral Restoration Foundation™ runs a long-term Volunteer Program which allows members of our community to become actively involved in our daily work if they are staying in the keys for more than 3 weeks. Whether you are a workboat, land, or intern volunteer, donating your time to our mission makes an impact!

A CRF™ Volunteer Dive Charter sets off for a day of coral nursery care and reef restoration! ©Coral Restoration Foundation™

Our workboat volunteers SCUBA dive alongside our Coral Crew in our coral nurseries and on the reef. Land volunteers are trained to help in our warehouse, educational outreach, and working at our public Exploration Center. After training and experience, land volunteers will be able to give presentations, attend workshops. Volunteers are an integral part of our work, and we appreciate all the time they donate to us! Please visit our Volunteer Program webpage to learn more and apply! 

Our Coral Conservation and Reef Restoration Internship is a full-time, 4-month volunteer internship accompanied by an educational stipend to offset living costs. Our internship program gives recent college graduates vast experience through participation in our community engagement programs, coral restoration, and marine science fieldwork. We spoke with first-round intern Beth about why she wanted to be an intern and how CRF™ has led her to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

"I took an interest in the internship at CRF™ after following their Instagram page for quite some time. I had been studying environmental policy and planning in Iowa. Still, the ocean and animals have a special place in my heart. I knew I had to somehow get back to the coast and get out into the field.

"I did not just want to learn about environmental issues; I wanted to participate in large-scale solutions. When I finally had my diving certifications, I focused on coral reef conservation because coral reefs support 25% of all marine life! I feel so grateful every day that I am here at this internship. I am surrounded by some of the most intelligent, empathetic, hard-working individuals I have ever known. Being on a team with others who are so passionate about protecting and restoring this vital ecosystem is a beautiful experience to share with others. I will continue volunteering with CRF™ long after my internship," says CRF™ intern Beth.

Being in any sort of conservation or environmental field, we consider our impact on the environment. There is no perfect way to be an environmentalist. Still, I have transitioned some of my habits to lead a more sustainable lifestyle over the last few years. CRF™ contributed a lot to my full switch to reef-safe, mineral-based sunscreens. I used them as much as I could before, but I didn't think much of it if I forgot. Knowing now that the chemicals in most sunscreens affect the growth of coral larvae, I found other ways to protect myself from the sun. I also try to eat and shop locally as much as possible to support small businesses. They have a smaller impact on the environment and are usually vital to the local community. Get to know your community businesses, fisherman, and farmers!"

If you are interested in becoming a Coral Conservation and Reef Restoration Intern, find more information and an application here!  

 

"Diving In" Editorial Intern


Madeline (she/her) was born in Tucson, Arizona but found her passion for the ocean in the

Chesapeake Bay, Virginia when she discovered an abandoned crab pot inhabited with seahorses. She continued to follow her passion and received her open water certification at age 15. She did not stop there! She is now a recent graduate of Coastal Carolina University with a bachelors in Marine Science and has her Rescue Diver Certification. Madeline is very excited to be a part of the CRF team to help with the coral restoration process and make a difference for the coral reefs everyone knows and loves.


Coral Chronicles Editor

Madalen Howard (she/her) 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.

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