This Week’s Dive Report

Conditions this week were, again, very nice! We had slight winds and sunny skies — perfect weather to find yourself topside on a dive boat in the Florida Keys. 

On Saturday morning, Islamorada Dive Center participated in the “Shoreline Restoration Services” marine debris clean-up tournament. We teamed up with Coastal Realty of the Florida Keys to bring up a bounty of trash. This was enough for a second-place win! 

Sadly, everything collected is a mere “drop in the bucket” when it comes to plastics and pollution in our oceans. The Ocean Conservancy estimates that 8 million metric tons of plastics from land enter our seas every year. That’s the equivalent of dumping one New York City garbage truck full of plastic into the ocean every minute of every day for the entire year — horrible! We can and must all work together to curb our plastic addition and our trash problem, for the future of our waters.

Team Coastal Realty of the Florida Keys took second place in the “Shoreline Restoration Services” marine debris clean-up tournament this past weekend. ERIC BILLIPS/Contributed

We followed up that excellent morning of trash removal by actively restoring our reef on I.CARE coral restoration dives. Corals need clean, unpolluted environments to thrive because trash can get wrapped around fragile coral colonies and abrade or break them. If the seafloor is covered in trash, it could get in the way of new baby corals trying to settle, or encourage growth of algae, which does the same. 

Doing these activities on the same day really emphasized, for me, just how connected land and sea are, and how everything we do up here affects what goes on down there. Sometimes, that’s easy to forget, so it’s nice to find ways to reinforce those lessons. All-in-all, it was a full, beautiful and rewarding day of helping our local reefs.

Next Week’s Dive Report

Conditions for this entire month have been incredible, and this last week of September is no exception. Calm seas ahead, so call us and get on a dive boat before winter hits. I know, I know — Florida “winter,” but still. 

Conservation Update

I.CARE continues to plant corals every Saturday. This past weekend, we planted over 70 corals. This upcoming Saturday, you can do the same with Key Dives in Islamorada. 

Conservation Tip

When you clean up trash along the shoreline and when you encounter it in the ocean, you act as an ambassador of the planet.

I.CARE Tip 

Plastics, ghost fishing line and other trash in our oceans can damage fragile corals. Help by stopping as much trash and plastics as you can from entering our oceans, and removing what you find there!

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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