This Week’s Dive Report

Last week, conditions were beautiful. It was the kind of diving that the Florida Keys are famous for ‒ with calm seas, light winds and great visibility. The water was, of course, that amazing turquoise blue that we all love to see. With the warm weather, water temperatures are also getting comfortable.

We took advantage of the amazing conditions by taking the Ocean Studies Charter School kids out to Spanky’s Reef in Islamorada to encounter the local nurse shark population there. 

Nurse sharks are referred to as the “couch potatoes” of the sharks and are harmless to humans. You find them often on local reefs, lying in the sand or under reef heads. They’re relatively docile, but should still be left alone and respected. They are wild, after all!

Next Week’s Dive Report

Next week, conditions look amazing as well, until Saturday, when the winds are supposed to pick up a little bit. Remember, here in the Keys, it’s the winds and not the rain that determine how great a day on the water will be.

Conservation Update

Every Friday, we hold Shark Awareness Dives at Islamorada Dive Center like the one that Ocean Studies went on. We take the classroom to the water and teach you about the perils that sharks encounter because of longlines and the demand for sharks in soup. They are 100% endangered. You can earn PADI Shark Awareness Certification while diving with us and become an ambassador for these beautiful creatures.

This week, I.CARE coral restoration dives will occur at Islamorada Dive Center. These dives are still one of the best ways to get involved in improving our local environment. You get to hold endangered corals with your own two hands and help get them back on our coral reefs. 

Sunday, June 6 at 3 p.m. Key Dives will also host a wetsuit wrangle at Florida Keys Brewing Co. Bring your old wetsuits in to get recycled into yoga mats, flip flops, coasters etc. It’s an awesome way to clear out the old dive closet and prevent old wetsuits from ending up in landfills. Donate to receive free beer and a chance to win some swag.

Conservation Tip
Always be conscientious of trash when diving. Take a mesh bag with you underwater so that if you see trash, you can collect it and bring it back to the boat for proper disposal.

I.CARE plants different genotypes of the same coral species onto reefs to increase genetic diversity. The more genetic diversity you have in an ecosystem, the more capable it is of handling the problems thrown at it.

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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