Not Your Average Dive Program
On January 18th, Coral Restoration Foundation™ had the privilege to teach the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) about coral restoration in the Florida Keys at Ocean Reef Club! YPO is a global community of executive leaders who reached out to CRF™ for a private snorkel program. This clear, chilly morning started with an extraordinary presentation from our Dive Training Administrator, Roxane, about CRF’s mission to restore corals to the reef. The YPO participants were very engaged and asked many questions about our restoration efforts!
CRF™ Dive Training Administrator, Roxane, presents to the YPO at Ocean Reef Club. ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
That afternoon we headed out for a snorkel trip to Carysfort Reef. The Dive Shop at Ocean Reef placed our crew on the Cool Coral Catamaran and raised anchor. This snorkel program showed the YPO the overwhelmingly positive impact of coral restoration. The YPO snorkelers were impressed by the size of 3-year-old Elkhorn Corals, planted by CRF™, growing new life over the degraded reef.
CRF™ staff give a dive site briefing before hopping in to see our restored corals! ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
The weather was chilly, but the visibility on the reef could not have been better, it must have been 40+ feet horizontally! The Coral Crew and YPO had a wonderful time experiencing coral restoration firsthand through a tailored experience!
One YPO participant said, “Thank you so much for coming out and educating us on coral reefs! I did not realize how beautiful and impactful they are!”
We work with many organizations and school groups interested in our mission! Private Dive Programs are available for anyone or any group wanting a tailored experience. If you have further questions about our Dive Programs or would like to set up a private program, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (305) 453-7030!
First Volunteers of 2022!
Our first Volunteer Charter of the year went out on January 13th! This warm, sunny day started with hands-on coral nursery maintenance led by a Lead Intern, Katie! The group met up at Silent World Dive Shop, where they practiced knots and mimicked cleaning a Coral Tree™ on land before diving into the CRF™ Carysfort Coral Nursery. Once at the dive site, volunteers assisted Katie and another Lead Intern, Julian, with Coral Tree maintenance. They cleaned Trees, replaced floats, and measured healthy corals to asses their ‘reef-readiness’. Thank you, volunteers, for donating your time to Coral Restoration Foundation™!
Volunteer divers train with our team on volunteer charter trips before assisting on CRF™ workboats. ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Coral Restoration Foundation™ volunteers worked with staff and interns daily to help the coral restoration of the Florida Keys. We’ve been working to improve the safety and efficiency of our volunteer program ever since having to shut it down in 2020 and we are so excited to have had our first two volunteers back on CRF™ workboats! Read last month's article for a breakdown of our volunteer programs.
Workboat volunteers play an active role by SCUBA diving alongside Coral Restoration Foundation™ staff and interns in our coral nursery and on the reef. They make a difference for CRF™ corals by conducting coral tree maintenance and returning corals to the reef!
Workboat volunteers work in our coral nurseries and on the reef; raising and returning corals to the wild! ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
Land volunteers help in the warehouse, educational outreach, and working at the Exploration Center. After training and experience, Land Volunteers will give presentations, attend workshops, and do other activities alongside CRF™ interns.
Land volunteers can serve a huge role in supporting our education initiatives! ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
We want to send a huge thank you to Fred Hartner and Patrice Duval, the first volunteers to join staff and interns on CRF™ workboats since the pandemic began! Fred Hartner has been a devoted volunteer since 2017, and Patrice Duval has been committed since 2019. These gentlemen have donated so much of their time to CRF™, and we appreciate every second!
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!
"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.