Coral Shores marine science students enjoy a dive. ERIC BILLIPS/Contributed

This Week’s Dive Report

Conditions were a little confused this past week. We had a nice day for diving, a windy day and then the rains came through last weekend. 

With the weather opening up this week, we were able to get our local Coral Shores High School marine science students certified. Obtaining the certification is part of the requirement for students within the marine science program so they can participate in numerous dive activities, such as coral restoration and marine debris cleanups, throughout the year. Every June, we offer a class to the students in need of their certification. 

This year, we certified 12 students. The marine science class at Coral Shores High School is led by none other than Beth Rosenow. 

Next Week’s Dive Report

Rain drenched the Keys at the beginning of the week, but it all clears up toward the weekend. Visibility shouldn’t take long to improve after the rains we had. 

Conservation Update

Consider signing yourself up for a dive to plant coral onto the reef. It all starts with some education and training, and of course, diving. Key Dives takes divers out every second and fourth Saturday of the month, while Islamorada Dive Center takes folks out every first and third Saturday of the month. Conch Republic Divers take divers out every third Sunday of the month. 

June 8 was World Ocean Day. According to the United Nations, the ocean covers 70% of the planet. It’s our life source as it supports humans and every other organism on Earth. Consider a marine debris dive, some coral planting or a beach cleanup to keep our oceans as clean and healthy as they can be. 

Conservation Tip

Remember that corals are alive and don’t like certain ingredients that are found in sunscreen.  It’s best to opt for “reef safe” sunscreen when out shopping or to use sun shirts, hats, buffs and sunglasses to cover yourself instead.


As we enter hurricane season, it’s good to remember that coral reefs play a critical part in shoreline resilience. They help dampen storm surge and wave energy coming towards our homes and businesses by acting as natural sea walls. Healthy reefs are more effective than manmade seawalls to protect the shore.

Eric Billips is is the owner, captain and instructor at Islamorada Dive Center and Floridia Keys Dive Center. He specializes in scuba, rebreather, spearfishing and captaining in the Florida Keys