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Reef Corps Global: A Partnership Between Divers Paradise and Coral City Foundation for Coral Conservation

Divers Paradise and the Coral City Foundation have announced the establishment of Reef Corps Global (RCG), a collaborative initiative dedicated to coral restoration and conservation efforts. Located in Key Biscayne, Florida, Divers Paradise and the Coral City Foundation have united forces to engage recreational scuba divers, veterans, and students in a global mission to protect and restore coral reefs.

Reef Corps, a non-profit organization, commences its efforts right here in Miami, focusing on developing best practices and operating procedures in coral protection and restoration. The organization also emphasizes ocean health awareness and the importance of public-private partnerships to safeguard our oceans.

The first significant project undertaken by Reef Corps involves supporting the Ocean Rescue Alliance in creating a state-of-the-art coral amplification lab near downtown Miami. The ORAI lab will have the capacity to grow tens of thousands of coral fragments for restoration and research annually. Additionally, the lab will serve as a sanctuary for several hundred mother colonies for bleaching rescue. Reef Corps will contribute to planning and fundraising for the lab, and Divers Paradise will subsequently integrate the lab into a new program for training divers in restoration techniques using the lab’s coral micro-fragments.

Reef Corps is committed to exploring and deploying new technology to accelerate coral reef restoration, conservation, and citizen science engagement. This includes underwater live streaming cameras for reef health surveillance, water monitoring technology, coral bleaching detection, treatments for coral disease, coral spawning/aquaculture techniques, invasive species control, detection and removal of ghost traps, gear, and trash, as well as diving practices and equipment designed to minimize environmental impact.

In pursuit of its mission, Reef Corps aims to establish a “Reef School” where recreational, commercial, and scientific divers can enroll in classes covering coral biology, restoration, micro-fragmentation, land-based coral husbandry, aquaculture systems management, and disease management. The program will culminate in a Reef School certification, equipping divers and scientists with the necessary skills to actively contribute to coral restoration projects.

Erik Jarnryd, co-Owner of Divers Paradise, told us “We believe the only way in which we can preserve healthy oceans for future generations is to energize a new generation of citizen scientists willing to bring their passion and become a force for change.”

Colin Foord, Co-Founder of the Coral City Foundation, emphasized, “Miami is on the front line of the coral crisis, and Reef Corps Global will offer divers the hands-on training to become underwater warriors in the fight to save our planet’s imperiled coral ecosystems.”

The launch of Reef Corps will be celebrated at Divers Paradise in Key Biscayne with an expedition dive to survey coral health in a nearby reef on Sunday, March 10, at 9 AM (8 AM arrival). This two-tank dive is open to all interested certified divers, and all proceeds will contribute to funding Reef Corps programs. For further details, call 305-361-3483.

By ML staff. Images courtesy of Divers Paradise.


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