Coral Restoration in the Florida Keys

Key Largo, FL, USA

BP
Blue Planet Scuba
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36 reviews
Sep 21 - 25, 2019
Group size: 11 - 22
Coral Restoration in the Florida Keys
Key Largo, FL, USA

Blue Planet Scuba
  • Email address verified
  • Facebook verified
  • Twitter verified
36 reviews

$845
Deposit: $400
Sep 21 - 25, 2019
Group size: 11 - 22

About this trip

Join Blue Planet in the Florida Keys for two days of hands-on training in coral reef restoration and monitoring with the Coral Restoration Foundation plus one day of recreational diving. This is your chance to “get your hands dirty” and give back to the beautiful coral reefs that we all love!


CORAL RESTORATION

We’ll be volunteering with the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF), a non-profit conservation organization created to develop offshore coral nurseries and reef restoration programs for critically endangered coral reefs at local, national and international levels.


On Monday and Tuesday mornings, we will learn about coral nursery operations, coral restoration techniques and coral monitoring procedures. We’ll then apply what we learn on two afternoon dives at a staghorn nursery and restoration sites. By the end of the trip, you will qualify for the optional PADI Coral Restoration Distinctive Specialty.


On Sunday morning, we’ll dive on wrecks and reefs to get a taste of the great diving in Key Largo. Want to dive more? Jump back in Sunday or Tuesday afternoon. Or add on extra days at the end of the trip.


THE DIVING

The 120-mile Florida Keys island chain is home to the continental United States’ only living-coral barrier reef. This teeming backbone of marine life runs the length of the Keys about five miles offshore and offers easy access to beautiful reefs and impressive wrecks.

 

We’ll be diving with Conch Republic Divers in Tavernier with access to the reefs from the southern edge of Pennekamp Park off of Key Largo down to Alligator Light just south of Islamorada. This gives us access to some of the best scuba diving in the Florida Keys including Molasses Reef, Pickles Reef, the Conch Reef System, Davis, Crocker, Victory and many, many others. We can also dive the major wrecks in the area, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutters Duane and Bibb, Spiegel Grove and the Eagle.


ACCOMMODATIONS

We’ll be staying at the Marina del Mar Resort, right on the marina and only 8 miles from John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Each marina view room comes with 2 double beds and a common balcony facing the marina, plus mini-fridge and coffeemaker. There’s also free WiFi, a fitness center, outdoor pool and more. Parking is included as is a light continental breakfast.


TRAVEL

Fly into Fort Lauderdale or Miami on Saturday, September 21st and drive down to Key Largo. We’ll be staying at the Marina del Mar Resort, right on the marina and walking-distance from a few great restaurants. You can fly back on Wednesday, September 25th — just be sure you give yourself 18-24 hours after your last dive! Fly on Southwest out of DCA for only $350 and get 2 free checked bags. We can help coordinate carpooling/rental cars too.


Please check in with Blue Planet staff before booking flights. Or if you need assistance with flights, just let us know!

Cancellation Policy

Upon cancellation of a reservation for any reason, the refund of the deposit and payments made or due will be contingent upon Blue Planet reselling the participant's reservation. Any refund may also be subject to a $100 cancellation fee and payment of any non-refundable fees imposed by the tour company, dive operator or any other contractor associated with the trip. 


Dive accident insurance is required for all divers on this trip. We strongly recommend travel insurance to protect your vacation investment. Contact us if you need more information. 

What’s included

  • 4 nights accommodations
    Single or shared rooms available
  • 4 CRF dives
    2 days of 2-tank boat dives focused on Coral Restoration and Monitoring Training
  • 2 recreational dives
    1 morning of local wreck and reef diving
  • Airfare
    Book your flight to Miami or Fort Lauderdale
  • Ground transportation
    You'll need to rent a car to get to Key Largo, or hook up with other divers on the trip and carpool
  • Scuba equipment
    Only tanks and weights included; rental gear available
  • Tips
    Tips for the boat's excellent crew
  • Meals
    There are a ton of great options at and near the hotel

Available Packages

Standard Room, Double Occupancy
9 left

Double occupancy in a Standard room with two double beds, bathroom, television, mini fridge.


Bringing a non-diving companion? Contact us for pricing!

$845
Deposit: $400
Standard Room, Single Occupancy
Sold Out

 Single occupancy in a Standard room with two double beds, bathroom, television, mini fridge. 

 

Bringing a non-diving companion? Contact us for pricing!

$1230
Deposit: $400

Available options

Sunday afternoon boat dives
$75
Tuesday afternoon boat dives
$75
PADI Coral Restoration Specialty
$150
$845
Deposit: $400

Standard Room, Double Occupancy
Past Trip

Itinerary

Saturday
Arrival in Key Largo

Fly into Fort Lauderdale or Miami and drive down to Key Largo. Check into hotel and dive shop. Dinner with the group.

Your Organizer


BP
Blue Planet Scuba
36 reviews
Blue Planet is a different kind of scuba diving organization — aimed at providing the best education and experiences to divers in the Washington, DC area and beyond, while harnessing the excitement and adventure of scuba diving to help protect our fragile oceans.

Reviews

The trip was fantastic! A great group of divers, an amazing leader, Andrea, from Blue Planet, the fold at CRF were wonderful - we learned a lot and had four beautiful and productive dives.
Trip was great, and coral restoration education and experience was fantastic. Andrea is the best leader and organizer. Unfortunately, weather prevented us from diving 2 out of 3 days, and our room was small for 2 single people, had little annoyances like nowhere to plug in cell phones near the bed and only processed carbs for breakfast, and had lots of little things not working that made the accommodations less than satisfactory.
MD
The diving was great! Sharks, wrecks, and schools and schools of fish! We also saw eels and octopuses! Josh and Heather were very approachable and easy going organizers who made space for everyone to opt-in to the group dinners but definitely gave no pressure. They addressed any problems immediately and with grace, and generally added to the experience. While the staff were all very kind and friendly, the NC dive shop (Olympus) offers very little in terms of included amenities and services. You do everything yourself: analyze and record your own EAN, put your tanks on the boat, set up your equipment, and the dives are self-guided. Lunch and refreshments are not provided on board (but there is plenty of space to put your own in the coolers and minifridge, plus a toaster oven and microwave). This was all fine and communicated ahead of time, but is quite different from my experiences elsewhere, so worth noting, especially since the prices were higher than I am used to. Most sites were about 2 hours offshore, so I assume much of the cost can be attributed to fuel. Two of the three days, we did both dives on the same site. The first day, the other Olympus Dive Shop boat was anchored on the stern of the huge wreck and our boat was anchored on the bow. It seems to me that we could have at least switched locations of the two boats during our hour plus surface interval to get a somewhat different dive in for the second tank, but instead we did the exact same dive twice (which albeit was a great dive). Only two people from our group stayed in the dive lodge, which I highly recommend for those with a tolerance for hostel living. It was very well located, an easy walk to most of the restaurants and (crucially) to the dive shop. Lots of space in the fridge and a chill living room area, plus the bathrooms were clean. I could see it getting a little crowded if at capacity, but we only had 6-9 people staying there any given night. Definitely a good budget option! Plus you get to meet some other divers, hear their stories, and get their advice on the sites. All in all, a great trip! I would definitely recommend it to experienced divers who like sharks, wrecks, and fish galore!
Another great Caribbean dive trip with Blue Planet. Dive shop, dive masters, and the BP staff made sure we had fantastic dives and fun as a group. Was a good value for the money too!
Awesome trip! Delicious food! Amazing crew! Great group! Well equipped vessel! Diving was good. 5 dives a day - sweet! Got to see the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, manta rays, tiger shark, many frogfish, nudibranchs and much more. Completed many night dives, including a Blackwater dive. All crew were highly knowledgeable, caring and interactive 24/7. I will never forget being covered with a warm towel post every dive :). Super trip with an awesome dive team and divers.
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References

Hey! Please add me to the waitlist for the Indonesia trip in November! Thanks! Eran Patterson
By Eran Patterson on Nov 25, 2018