May 25, 2018
Plant coral, help restore a reef during annual ‘Coralpalooza,' honoring World Oceans Day
In recognition of World Oceans Day June 8, the Key Largo–based Coral Restoration Foundation is inviting outdoor enthusiasts and recreational divers to Coralpalooza, an annual voluntourism and ocean preservation event set for Friday and Saturday, June 8-9.
Coralpalooza helps raise awareness about the internationally recognized World Oceans Day as well as the importance of the restoration and conservation of the continental United States' only living coral barrier reef, which parallels the Florida Keys.
Appealing to both landlubbers and divers, there are activities for everyone. Underwater participants must be certified divers and can help Coral Restoration Foundation staff and interns in underwater coral nurseries, outplanting corals to Upper Keys reefs or monitoring the wellness of corals in existing coral colonies.
Friday, June 8, an afternoon session that features a presentation and hands-on training is to be held at the Murray Nelson Government and Cultural Center in Key Largo.
Saturday, June 9, participants are to meet their assigned dive groups at a predetermined dive shop location in either Key West or Key Largo. Registration fee for divers is $50, plus a recommended crew gratuity.
In-water activities are to be assigned at random and Coralpalooza activity representatives will be present on all vessels. If members of a group wish to dive together, every effort will be made to accommodate a request, but is not guaranteed.
Early registration is encouraged; spaces are limited.
Nondivers can participate in planned kayak mangrove cleanup trips. The cost is $20 per person and includes kayak rental and a guided tour.
In 2017, restoration efforts by CRF resulted in over 13,400 corals outplanted along Florida Keys reefs. These successful outplantings were made possible by the development of effective and simple coral growth and outplanting methods, two important elements of CRF's mission.
Nearly 800 divers participate in the CRF recreational dive programs every year, personally contributing to the overall health of the ocean.
To learn more about CRF's mission or become a volunteer, visit coralrestoration.org and facebook.com/CoralRestorationFoundation.
Event Information: coralrestoration.org/coralpalooza
Key Largo visitor information: fla-keys.com/keylargo or 800-822-1088
Florida Keys dive information: fla-keys.com/diving