Dive Program FAQ
Do you want to participate in a scheduled dive program or schedule a private program? Here are some frequently asked questions to help you get in the water!
Q: Do I have to be a SCUBA diver to participate?
A: NO! You will have the opportunity to snorkel rather than SCUBA dive! Snorkelers are important as they get a unique “birds-eye” view of the restoration work that SCUBA divers often miss. Only SCUBA divers will have in-water hands-on restoration participation though as freediving isn’t allowable for restoration work.
Q: Do I need my own dive equipment to join a Recreational Dive Program?
A: You don't need your own dive gear to join a dive program. You are always welcome to bring your own equipment, though! You can rent equipment from the dive operator that is running the program. The dive operators include tanks and weights in the cost.
Q: Do I need to have a minimum number of dives to join a Recreational Dive Program?
A: You can join a dive program with any number of dives, but the tasks you will be able to participate in will depend on your level of experience. We will tailor the program to suit your level to ensure that you have a fun, comfortable, and rewarding experience with us. Participating SCUBA divers must have been diving within the past two years. As these are “working dives”, we strongly encourage divers who have not been diving for a long period of time or who are new to ocean diving get practical recreational experience prior to signing up for this restoration experience.
Q: How much does a dive program cost?
A: The cost of the dive program is broken down into two separate charges. One fee is payable to the dive operator running the program. The base fee depends on the type of program and the operator running it. There is an added donation to Coral Restoration Foundation™ to cover our costs.
Q: What activities will we do during the dive program?
A: You can view the typical recreational dive program schedule below!
Q: How long are dive programs?
A: Dive programs usually start at 8am or 9am and end around 5pm.
Q: The dive shop website does not have a sign-up for the dive program. How do I sign up?
A: Simply call the dive shop to sign up!
Q: How will I be notified if the water portion of the dive program is canceled?
A: Given the weather dependency of the program for both you and our safety, we are highly weather dependent. If the dive portion is cancelled, you will be notified by the dive operator or the morning of the event if the water portion is canceled. You will have the option to participate in the morning educational portion if you choose.
Q: Will there be time to shop CRF Swag?
A: YES! You will have time to shop CRF Swag at the beginning or end of the morning presentation!
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 email@example.com or call us at (305) 453-7030!
VOLUNTEER PROGRAM FAQ
Do you want to become or return as a CRF volunteer? Here are some frequently asked questions we receive from incoming volunteers!
Q: I am interested in volunteering with Coral Restoration Foundation™ as a diver. What are the next steps?
A: The next step is to identify how much time you would donate to Coral Restoration Foundation™. Are you planning to be around for 6 months, 1 week, or do you live here? If you are only planning to be here for a few days or a few weeks, the Recreational Dive Program might be a better fit. If you can commit to volunteering once every two months or live within a two hour driving radius, becoming a regular volunteer might be a great option for you!
Q: Do I need my own dive equipment?
A: Yes, volunteers will need to provide their own dive equipment. This means BCD, regulator, weights, mask, fins, snorkel, wetsuit, gloves, and dive computer. We will provide the tanks and tank fills. If you are diving between October and April, we suggest a 3-5mm wetsuit. We ask that volunteers provide a receipt showing their gear has been serviced in the last year. If your gear is less than a year old, an itemized receipt showing the date of purchase will be sufficient.
Q: What regulator test works for "Proof of Gear Maintenance"?
A: A bench test will work for proof of gear maintenance if it is within the last year.
Q: What are the requirements if I want to be a dive volunteer?
A: Volunteers must be based in South Florida or plan to be in the area for three weeks or longer. We ask all new dive volunteers to complete a dive release, fill out a medical evaluation, and, if necessary, obtain a dive physical with a physician's signature. Additionally, we ask for copies of dive certification cards, proof of at least 30 dives (15 in the ocean, 5 from a boat, and 1 in the last year), dive insurance cards, First Aid/CPR certification cards, and an O2 administration card. New volunteers also participate in a training event with the Coral Restoration Foundation™ staff and/or interns. The training involves time at our Exploration Center, Coral Nursery, and the reef.
Q: What will I do as a volunteer diver with Coral Restoration Foundation™?
A: When you volunteer as a working diver, you will work alongside our staff and interns in the coral nursery and on the reef. During your training, you will be given basic working knowledge on how to work with corals in the nursery and how to outplant them on the reef. On your first day on the water, you will receive a boat/ safety orientation and be introduced to our warehouse facility.
Q: How does the scheduling work? What is a typical daily schedule?
A: Training dives will be first come first serve, then you will be able to jump on any workboat. Once you become a volunteer, we ask that you give us 24-hour notice if you need to cancel a dive. We confirm with divers by phone before each dive day and provide as much notice as possible if we cancel the dives.
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.