Join the TEAM
As a volunteer with Coral Restoration Foundation™, you have the chance to play an active role in the world's largest reef restoration effort.
Volunteers are an integral part of what we do, supporting every aspect of our work,
on land and at sea.
This is a unique, exciting opportunity to help out with reef restoration in the Florida Keys. If you are considering joining us as a Dive Volunteer, here is some basic info...
We are thrilled that you would consider donating your time to the mission to restore coral reefs.
Our volunteers are a critical part of our team at Coral Restoration Foundation, so we are always
excited to welcome new team members.
All volunteers must be within a two hour driving radius, or plan to be in the area for two months or longer. We have provided some answers to some other frequently asked questions, below. If you have more questions or would just like to talk with us, feel free to call (305) 453-7030.
To apply to become a volunteer scroll down for a link to the Volunteer Application!
Work on the water
As a recreational diver, you could help with nursery work, outplanting on the reef, or monitoring the health of corals that have already been outplanted.
We provide structured training for in-water volunteers so that you can develop the skills you need, step by step.
A role for everyone
There are opportunities for you to help us out at our warehouse and Exploration Center in Key Largo.
These could be anything from helping to build Coral Trees™ to providing outreach at our Exploration Center. Every volunteer adds incredible value to our mission.
For you to be able to work with us on the water, you will need to meet the following requirements:
18 years of age
Open Water dive certification (minimum)
Completion of 30 open water dives (preferably ocean dives)
Divers will need to show proof of dive insurance (DAN insurance is a great option!)
Divers will need to show proof of First Aid/CPR and Oxygen Administration training
Personal gear is maintained, proof of gear service within the last year
Once we have obtained all the important information, then divers go on to complete a Volunteer Orientation.
This includes a session at our Education Center and a pool session:
Divers will be asked to complete a few basic dive skills
Divers will complete hands on training for coral nursery and outplanting dives
Upon completion of the Volunteer Orientation and Dive Documentation process, you will start to receive emails about Volunteer Training Charters.
You can choose which days work best for you, and how often you’d like to volunteer your time.
If you want to help us with activities at our warehouse, our Exploration Center, and our headquarters, this is what you need to know to get started...
For you to be able to work with us on land, you will need to meet the following requirements:
16 years of age
Reliable transportation to and from Education Center or warehouse
Good interpersonal skills
Completion of a short orientation
As a land-based volunteer, there are a variety of activities you can help us with:
Office Volunteer: Help us at the Education Center to greet visitors or answer calls.
Outreach Volunteer: Attend special events with us and conduct community outreach/education
Warehouse Volunteer: Help us construct our Coral Trees (requires the use of power tools)
Once your application is submitted, you will start receiving emails regarding the onboarding process. Once your application is accepted, you will be able to upload the required documents and begin the orientation process.
We've got you covered...
I am interested in volunteering with Coral Restoration Foundation™ as a diver, what are the next steps?
The next step is to identify how much time you would like to 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 are going to be here for at least two months or are a South Florida resident, then becoming a regular volunteer might be the best option.
What is the difference between a Dive Program and the Volunteer Program?
A Dive Program is a one or two-day immersive experience that involves a lecture, hands-on training, and two dives on a charter boat with a local dive operator and are facilitated by Coral Restoration Foundation™ staff or interns. Dive Programs can either be organized by a group for a private charter or are one of our pre-scheduled public programs. The cost of a dive program involves the price per diver as charged by the dive operator, as well as $50 per diver, per day that supports Coral Restoration Foundation™. There is a discounted price for student groups of $35 per diver, per day.
The Volunteer Program is for divers who want to be involved on a consistent, long-term basis. These volunteers go through several training charters to learn about all parts of our restoration work before they are invited onto the workboats belonging to Coral Restoration Foundation™. These divers usually participate in longer days on the water, sometimes up to eight hours a day working alongside Coral Restoration Foundation™ staff and interns. These divers are required to have their own dive equipment, amongst other certifications listed below.
What are the requirements if I want to be a dive volunteer?
Volunteers must be based in South Florida, or plan to be in the area for two months or longer.
We ask all new dive volunteers to complete a dive release, fill out a medical evaluation, and get a dive physical from a doctor.
Additionally, volunteers are required to present evidence of: dive certification, proof of at least 30 dives (15 in the ocean, 5 from a boat, and 1 in the last year), up-to-date dive insurance, valid First Aid/CPR certifications, and valid oxygen administration certification.
Do I need my own dive equipment?
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 dated receipt showing their regulator has received a bench test, or been purchased, in the past year.
What will I do as a volunteer diver with Coral Restoration Foundation™?
The first few weeks of your time volunteering as a diver with Coral Restoration Foundation™ is for training, where we take volunteers out to our Coral Tree™ Nurseries or to a restoration site and teach them how to work in the nurseries and how to return the corals to the reef.
Once you have received adequate training to be able to work relatively independently, you will be invited to train on one of our CRF™ owned workboats. These workboats offer more flexibility and more opportunities than our training charters, and as such is where our staff and interns get most of the restoration work done.
As a dive volunteer you can expect to work directly with endangered corals by cleaning Coral Trees ™, hanging live coral on the trees, bringing corals to the reef to return them to the wild, and so much more!
How does the scheduling work? What is a typical daily schedule?
Our Volunteer Training Charters run once a week, varying days to include both weekend and weekday opportunities. An online survey will be emailed to every eligible volunteer a week prior to the charter opportunities which are first-come, first-served.
Since our work is field based, the prevailing weather conditions have a huge impact on what work we accomplish any given day. For this reason, we cannot specify what we will be doing on a Volunteer Training Charter in advance.
Once a volunteer has completed their training period and are cleared to go on our workboats, scheduling is very different. Workboat volunteers are emailed once a month to select which days they would like to work with us. We run our boats 7 days a week, so there is significantly more flexibility as a workboat volunteer.
Please plan to give 24 hours’ notice if you must cancel a dive, and we will strive to do the same.
A typical day as a dive volunteer starts between 7:30am and 9am at our office to pack up the boat, we hit the water to drive out to either a nursery or a reef where we do 2 to 4 dives, and we try to return to the dock around 5pm.
THE CORAL CHRONICLES
Follow our mission as it evolves, with news that comes straight from the heart of the
Coral Restoration Foundation™!
Through CRF’s volunteer and education sign-up portal CRF™ will collect specific information that you enter in order to acknowledge your interest in our programs, and periodically reach out to you with news and opportunities at CRF™.
This information will be used exclusively by CRF™ to communicate with you regarding your interest in the programs you signed up for; CRF™ will not sell or disseminate your information to any third party.
For participants under 13 years of age, all entered information will be viewable by the parent and require the parent’s review and consent before any information is collected.