Jack Fishman, of PADI Aware, shows us how a Dive Against Debris can help with conservation. JACK FISHMAN/PADI Aware

The holidays have come and gone here in the Keys, but conditions have remained favorable — especially for December. Low winds and great visibility made for a very merry Christmas, for us! 

Thanks to this stellar situation, we hosted another successful Dive Against Debris. If you’ve never been on one, these are marine debris cleanup dives. In our Dive Against Debris Certification Dives, we teach our divers how to safely clean up marine debris and why this matters for conservation of our precious coral reef. Then we take them to a local spot where we’ve seen debris, and they help collect it using best practices. Each participant receives a Dive Against Debris certification from PADI and the peace of mind that they helped clean up the Florida Keys reef with their own two hands.

We provide the bags for collection as part of the Dive Against Debris class, and, back at the dock, we sort, measure and weigh everything. Everything collected gets recorded into the PADI Aware database. This global resource helps to track what marine debris is found where and is used by scientists to inform ocean policy. 

Because of all this, these dives are one of the most immersive, rewarding ways to participate in conservation. 

Next Week’s Dive Report

Conditions continue to be in our favor throughout next week, with lower winds and warm temperatures. Take advantage of this and book a trip. 

Conservation Update

As you may remember, we have our coral restoration dives every Saturday, alternating between Islamorada Dive Center and Key Dives. These are the hands-on training and planting dives done in partnership with I.CARE. 

In addition, every Sunday, Islamorada Dive Center and Florida Keys Dive Center alternate hosting a marine debris cleanup dive. So, every Sunday of the month, we can take divers out to help clean up the reefs. Call us to join the next one!

Conservation Tip

If you can’t help dive to clean up the reef, start by preventing trash from falling off your boat or washing down drains and rivers to the sea.


Dives Against Debris clean up the reefs to provide safe habitat for newly restored coral babies to grow! They work hand-in-hand with coral restoration dives to regrow our reef!

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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