DIVE REPORT: TEACHING THE NEXT GENERATION ABOUT OCEAN CONSERVATION

Local kids on their checkout dive for their PADI Open Water certification. CONTRIBUTED

Conditions this past week were fantastic. We had the perfect trifecta for fabulous dive conditions: low winds, low current and great visibility. You can expect more of this heading into the summer months and dive season. 

We took advantage of the nice weather and beautiful conditions to get the next generation into the water. Islamorada Dive Center instructor Sophia Hattemer introduced some local kids to the underwater world. We had a group of nine local kiddos who all tried for and received their PADI Open Water Scuba Certification. 

The Florida Keys are a tight-knit community, and we love supporting our neighbors, friends and family. That’s why we offer discounted courses for Keys kids all year long. We often have local kids classes. Call the shop for more details or to sign your child up!

Next Week’s Dive Report

This upcoming week, we can expect more of the same glorious diving. Higher winds will creep in on Saturday, but it should remain pretty pleasant to be on the water.

Conservation Update

“Start them young.” We know that early exposure to ideas and experiences helps shape kids. When we show kids, by example, how to care for our local waters and environment, it can create a lifelong passion in them. 

The kids who got PADI Open Water certified also earned their Project Aware certifications. During this course, they learned about ocean conservation – including marine debris, coral restoration, etc. In this way, students simultaneously learn how to dive while learning how to conserve our ocean resources.

PADI Aware runs the Project Aware knowledge base. It is a nonprofit founded to combat the intense issues of plastic pollution and marine debris in our ocean. Divers conduct Dives Against Debris to remove trash and old fishing gear from our ocean floor. These items can cause great danger to animals like sea turtles, dolphins, sharks and whales that get entangled in them. They can also break and abrade our precious coral reefs. So, creating awareness and removing debris from our waters is super important.

Conservation Tip

When we get kids involved in conservation, they become lifelong stewards of the seas and excellent examples for their peers and other adults they come across.

I.CARE Tip

ICARE will be planting this Saturday at Key Dives out of Bud N’ Mary’s Marina.

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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