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DIVE REPORT: WINDY EARTH DAY WEEKEND?

This Week’s Dive Report
Conditions improved this week, and the seas were kind to us divers. Visibility was stunning ? close to 80 feet! If that doesn’t make for happy divers, I don’t know what would. 

On one of our regular trips to the wreck of the Eagle, we were lucky enough to spot two bull sharks swimming around the perimeter of the wreck. Spotting sharks is always exciting, but bull sharks are especially amazing creatures to swim with. Having sharks in our oceans is healthy and a sign that the ecosystem is doing well.

Next Week’s Dive Report
There are some thunderstorms rolling through towards the end of this week, but, like all watermen know, we live and die by the wind here, not the rain. The winds stay down until the weekend, when they’re calling for it to pick up a bit. 

This weekend is not only Earth Day, but also the 8th annual REEF Lionfish Derby. The “locals” tournament and diver removal is one of the most effective ways to keep invasive lionfish off our reefs. Islamorada Dive Center and other dive shops in Key Largo and Islamorada will be running some charters on Saturday for derby participants. Call the shop and visit https://www.reef.org/events/earth-day-lionfish-derby for more derby information. 

Local fish behaviors change with weather and ocean conditions. ERIC BILLIPS/Contributed

Conservation Update
In Islamorada, any Saturday is a great day to go outplant coral. Through community partnerships that are continually growing and expanding, dive and snorkel shops like Islamorada Dive Center partner with I.CARE to restore our reefs. Last Saturday, we planted roughly 50 coral seedlings with Scuba Adventures from Naples with us. These baby corals were put down on Rocky Top ridge and will continue to grow and fuse together, creating the reefs of the future. 

This upcoming Saturday, Key Dives will run the coral planting charter trip. 

If you haven’t joined on one yet, sign up. We’d love to show you how Islamorada takes care of its own!

CONSERVATION TIP

Remember: good dive etiquette equals healthy corals. Proper buoyancy, keeping your gear streamlined and practicing proper fin kicks keeps our corals intact and in good condition.

I.CARE

I.CARE partnered with Shoreline Restoration Services for a pre-Earth Day shoreline and beach cleanup across from Founders Park. In 3 hours, volunteers pulled out so much trash from our mangroves and waterline. Cleanups keep debris from entering our oceans! See page 13 for more on the cleanup.

Divers aboard Islamorada Dive Center’s boat get ready to jump in. ERIC BILLIPS/Contributed

 

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