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Help Save a Reef in Florida at Coralpalooza 2018
By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, May 25, 2018 @ 05:00 AM (EST)

Wondering what you can do to contribute this World Oceans Day? If you’re in the area and you fancy coming down to Florida for a couple of days, you’ll have plenty to do at this year’s Coralpalooza. The annual event, organized by the Key Largo-based Coral Restoration Foundation as part of the international “March for the Ocean” (M4O) campaign, invites you to join hundreds of divers as they spend a day restoring the reef by outplanting endangered coral species onto the degraded reefs along the Florida Reef Tract.

Organizers are encouraging divers and snorkelers to bring their family members or non-diving partners and friends, as there will be various topside activities going on in Key Largo as well, including presentations by Coral Restoration Foundation, REEF, and the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center; fun games like “Build-a-Reef” and “Coral Slime”; and a “Dive for the Ocean” party with live music.

The event takes place on June 8th and 9th. Check out the press release below for more information.


Dive for the Ocean on World Oceans Day!

When we work together, we can achieve anything. This June, as part of the “March for the Ocean” you can join an army of ocean lovers to plant corals and save a reef at CORALPALOOZA – a festival of reef restoration that shows the world what’s possible when we join forces!

Our oceans are facing ecological collapse. Without immediate action, we stand to lose all shallow coral reef ecosystems in the next 80 years. But there is hope: data shows that with proper management and habitat restoration, marine ecosystems can, and do, recover. This is the guiding principal behind the work of the world’s largest coral restoration organization, the Coral Restoration Foundation – a non-profit that is actively, and successfully, restoring coral reefs on a massive scale.

The Coral Restoration Foundation, based in Key Largo, Florida, maintains massive, offshore coral nurseries, in which they cultivate colonies of endangered coral species. Once the corals they propagate have reached a suitable size, the colonies are outplanted onto the degraded reefs along the Florida Reef tract – the third largest barrier reef system in the world. To date, the Coral Restoration Foundation has planted nearly 70,000 corals out onto Florida’s reefs.

A diver marvels at the Coral Restoration Foundation Coral Tree Nursery during Coralpalooza 2016

CORALPALOOZA: Your chance to plant some hope!

Coral Restoration Foundation has opportunities for anyone to join the mission, all year round. But, on World Oceans Day, they take this to a whole new level at CORALPALOOZA.

On June 8th and 9th, literally hundreds of divers and non-divers alike can join Coral Restoration Foundation volunteers, interns, staff, and brand-new coral warriors for a jam-packed day of saving coral reefs. Last year during CORALPALOOZA, 262 divers took part throughout Florida and the Caribbean, outplanting more than 600 coral colonies, and totaling 2,923 hours of reef restoration!

Participants in CORALPALOOZA 2017, Mark and John, said, “Coralpalooza 2017 provided an excellent opportunity to actively take part in the preservation and restoration of our precious coral ecosystems. The direct hands-on experience that CRF provided gave us a special connection with our local reefs. Working with other dedicated individuals was both rewarding and fun, both below and above the water!” 

Dive for the Ocean!

This year is the International Year of the Reef, and CORALPALOOZA will be even bigger and better than ever before: It is part of the international “March for the Ocean” (M4O) campaign, a movement that is mobilizing hundreds of thousands of people to take action to save life in the oceans.

On June 8th & 9th, this year’s CORALPALOOZA will involve record numbers of divers and snorkelers, joining the Coral Restoration Foundation team on the water and spending the day actively restoring reefs – there are already over 200 participants registered in the Florida Keys alone, in both Key Largo, and Key West. Mote Marine and the University of Miami are also coordinating their restoration work on the same day.

CORALPALOOZA is going international once again - this year groups from Bonaire, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and St Croix are also holding CORALPALOOZA events.

An “army” of ocean lovers restoring reefs during Coralpalooza 2017

In Key Largo, the Coral Restoration Foundation will not only be taking out divers and snorkelers to actively restore reefs, there are also all kinds of exciting, family-friendly things happening above water, too, including:

  • The official grand opening of Coral Restoration Foundation’s recently renovated Exploration Center
    (When & Where: Coral Restoration Foundation Exploration Center, 5 Seagate Boulevard, at 1 pm)
  • A fleet of kayaks cleaning marine debris deposited by Hurricane Irma
  • Fun and games like “Build-a-Reef” and “Coral Slime” activities
    (When & Where: Coral Restoration Foundation Exploration Center from 10 am)
  • A Selfie Station
    (When & Where: Coral Restoration Foundation Exploration Center from 10 am)
  • Engaging presentations and activities by Coral Restoration Foundation, REEF, The Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center, and others
    (When & Where: Coral Restoration Foundation Exploration Center from 10 am)
  • The History of Diving Museum offering CORALPALOOZA participants a coupon for discounted entry
  • MarineLab hosting an enlightening “micro-plastics experience”
    (When & Where: Registration at the Coral Restoration Foundation Exploration Center from 10 am to 11:30 am)
  • Special tours being held at the Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary, part of The Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
  • Celebrations in Key Largo culminating in a “Dive for the Ocean” celebration party with food, drinks, specialty cocktails, live music and more!
    (When & Where: Snappers Restaurant from 5 to 8 pm, live music starts at 6:30 pm, dinner is provided for registered divers and snorkelers and starts at 6 pm)

So, come and get involved and “Dive for the Oceans” this World Oceans Day!

Boats are filling up fast, so reserve your place at CORALPALOOZA today, by visiting: www.coralrestoration.org/coralpalooza!


Key Largo: June 8, & 9 2018

Key West: June 9, 2018

For more information and to book your tickets, visit www.coralrestoration.org/coralpalooza


Last year, CORALPALOOZA made a huge splash!

  • 262 people participated over two days
  • Divers outplanted 613 coral colonies
  • They monitored 732 coral outplants
  • They cleaned 128 Coral Trees
  • 20 dive operators got involved
  • They totaled 2,923 hours of reef restoration!

Corals being transported to their outplanting sites during Coralpalooza 2016

Coral Restoration Foundation Profile

Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) is a non-profit marine conservation organization dedicated to restoring reefs to a healthy state, in Florida and globally. Through large-scale cultivation, outplanting and monitoring of genetically diverse corals, CRF works to support the reefs’ natural recovery processes. CRF engages and empowers others in the mission with dive programs, educational activities, scientific collaborations, and outreach. www.coralrestoration.org



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