SWIM A MILE IN THEIR FINS
“Diving In” to the New Year, we feel as though 2020 prepared us to expect the unexpected. We are aiming to introduce new changes and resolutions to our long-standing Dive Programs and hope you’ll follow along with our journey through 2021. Each month "Diving In" with the Coral Chronicles will explore our collaborative restoration work with community members like you!
Coral Restoration Foundation™ Dive Programs bridge the gap between recreational diving and ocean conservation! ©Coral Restoration Foundation™
Our very first Dive Program participants were our 2021 Spring Interns! Our team understands what it is like to be a diver with the drive to make a difference, but without knowing exactly what they’ve gotten themselves into. Restoration work takes time to learn and it is our job to make sure divers working with us feel comfortable and confident!
Putting the Spring Interns in the participant’s seat has the unique benefit of giving them their very first experience with nursery maintenance and restoration. Just like people on our Dive Programs our interns have never actually worked in coral restoration before!
New intern Katherine cleans a CRF Coral Tree™ for the first time! ©Chris Reynolds/Coral Restoration Foundation™
Just like a typical Dive Program the day began with lots of excitement mixed with a bit of apprehension. The nerves come from inexperience. Divers want to make sure they will be helping corals and not harming them by doing something wrong in the nursery or at the reef! Thankfully our Coral Crew knows exactly how to direct people topside and below the waves ensuring they feel confident in their newly learned skills.
Our interns went through all the motions of a Dive Program. They cleaned coral trees using scrub brushes, gathered corals into milk crates to be brought to the reef, and learned to activate the two-part marine epoxy which secures corals to the reef structure! By the end of the day our team of 10 new interns had returned more than 60 Staghorn corals to Carysfort Reef, not bad for their first day on the job!
New interns Dana and Diana learn to secure corals to the reef using two part marine epoxy instructed by our Dive Program Coordinator, Roxane. ©Chris Reynolds/Coral Restoration Foundation™
Unlike a typical Dive Program our interns will continue to improve and build upon the skills they learned as mock Dive Program participants. Now they understand what it is like to learn all these new skills in just one day. This experience let our interns feel the anticipation and growing confidence our divers have throughout a Dive Program. It will help them become better teachers for our future programs, and longterm members of our Coral Crew!
MEET OUR NEW DIVE PROGRAM INTERN
With the transition into a new season and new internship term, we also see some changes in the personnel leading our dive programs. Taking over as Dive Program Intern and author of "Diving In" is myself, Chris. This is my third and final semester as a CRF™ intern and I’m proud to represent our organization to divers from all over the world!
I joined the CRF™ team in summer 2020 and have been absolutely enthused and passionate about sharing the CRF™ experience with Dive Program participants since the very first program I assisted with.
Our Coral Crew has been joined by some incredible new interns that will be splashing down with us on our programs throughout the semester. If you’ve ever been interested in seeing what CRF™ is all about and want to get into the trenches with us as we fight to restore the coral reefs in the Florida Keys, I‘d like to extend my personal invitation for you to come and join us on one of our restoration adventures!
I look forward to sharing with you what our program has to offer over the next several months, and hope to see you with us on the water as we are Diving In for coral restoration.
For more information on how you can come and join us on these Dive Programs, please visit us at https://www.coralrestoration.org/dive-programs, or email us with any of your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org!
JOIN OUR TEAM
NATIONAL BATTLING BIOFOUL STUDENT CHALLENGE
This year, for our national student challenge, we are tackling a new problem – biofouling!
Read the full press release and register here!
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
Chris Reynolds is from Wilmington, North Carolina and is currently pursuing a B.A. in International Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He began SCUBA diving while stationed in Georgia for the United States Marine Corps, and was immediately hooked on seeking new adventures under the surface and exploring the unique watery landscapes and ecosystems that the ocean has to offer.
Chris has always been passionate about giving back to nature and the community, so when he heard about Coral Restoration Foundation's internship, he knew that this was his opportunity to dive with a purpose and give back to the incredible coral reefs that he has come to love and admire. Chris hopes to gain new perspectives and hands-on experience in underwater conservation that he can carry with him beyond CRF™ and continue to make a positive impact on the oceans and coral reefs around the world.