Monday, January 31, 2011

Tavernier Key Eco-Tour Trip Booked

MCII is all set to take a 20 diver team of volunteers and several cameramen to the Coral Restoration Foundation to assist with the planting of 1300 coral babies they have been raising this year. Divers will learn techniques and procedures in classes each morning. The afternoons will be used to view the “farm,” to repair damaged coral formations and to plant the new babies.

This partnership is a result of an NOAA and National Geographic Conference held December 1st in Miami. Captain don offered divers to the project manager after witnessing the fantastic work they do and realized their needs. A look at their site will help you see their success as well. Our divers work tirelessly in less than wonderful conditions to clear the waterways. This is a great opportunity to dive in clear warm water near the end of winter.

Techniques learned can be used to transplant coral here again as well. Although many so-called experts claim coral can not grow in water of this clarity and cold temprature, our divers know of clumps of existing coral and using our new skills can extend our gardens as well.

Donations were received for the bus round trip, but divers are currently bearing the cost of the remainder of the trip. All donations or sponsorship will be greatly appreciated and recognition will be generous. This is a fantastic feel good operation.

There may be a few spots left as people juggle their schedules. Our schedule is as follows:
4pm March 18 leave Dive Odyssea parking lot on the bus and head to keys
10pm’ish arrive Tavenier Key, Horizon Dive Center (rooms here too)
9am March 19 leave for morning classes at Coral Restoration Foundation
1pm two tank dive at coral park
rest of day off
9am March 20 leave for morning classes at CRF
1pm two tank dive at coral park
4pm board bus for Dive Odyssea
10pm arrive in ft pierce.

The cost is $270/diver plus food.

We will pick up pizza and drinks on the ride home.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Letter from Coral Restoration Director

Hi Don
I am the new Operations Manager and Stephanie Roach is our new Field Biologist. We are excited about working with your group to help volunteer with our coral nursery and on restoration/monitoring work.

Our ideal weekend would involve class work Sat AM with nursery work (2 tanks) in the afternoon. Sun AM class work covering restoration, then restoration transplanting at Molasses Reef (2 tanks) in the afternoon.

We do have some corals to monitor at many other sites such as Alligator Reef, but are presently gearing up for 1200 corals for Molasses.

I actually live in Vero Beach and will be down here every other week for the coming months. If you would like to discuss next week while I am in Vero, I would be happy to meet with you.

Kevin Gaines, Director

Monday, January 10, 2011

Coral Restoration Bus Trip

Marine Cleanup Initiative, Inc will take the first 20 divers who sign up either here on-line, at Dive Odyssea or a Water n'Sports, for a nice bus trip to Tavernier Key and the Coral Restoration Foundation headquarters. A sponsor has already provided the funds for the bus, we are working on a sponsor for the boat reantal for the two afternoon two tank dives. There will be two short morning classes on Saturday and Sunday. Then, on Saturday, a dive to the farm will be followed by a recreational dive at Allegator Key. On Sunday, there will be a two tank dive to move, repair and "plant" coralat the farm. We will then leave and head back.

Divers will be responsible for their rooms for two days and food. There are 20 diver spaces on the trip, however, there are more seats on the bus, if a passenger wants to travel as well. We will gather more information by January 20th.

We hope to make this a frequent trip as this is a wonderful project and can use our support,