Members of the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge (CWVC) and SCUBAnauts International joined forces with half-a-dozen scientists from Mote Marine Laboratory for a one-day, record-breaking mission on a Florida Keys reef. They planted 500 corals in a day.
The number of corals planted marked the most-ever the groups have planted in a single day since they began working together in 2012. All told, the groups have planted more than 1,600 corals in an area unofficially named “Hero’s Reef” in honor of all current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Reef restoration with SCUBAnauts International and Mote Marine Lab Center for Tropical Research
We are getting our mission briefing from the Mote scientists at the amazing new Mote Laboratories on Summerland Key.
On Tuesday, June 27, members of the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge and SCUBAnauts International will join forces with scientists from Mote Marine Laboratory to plant 500 nursery grown corals near Looe Key.
Members of the media are invited to join the trip, though there are only a LIMITED NUMBER of spaces available for media divers and snorkelers. (Details below) Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest and see if spots are still available. Your space will not be confirmed until you’ve spoken with Nadine (239-339-7914).
Members of the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge work with Mote scientists and SCUBAnauts youths to help restore a reef in the Florida Keys.
This event, being conducted under Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) permit #2015-163-A1, marks the sixth year of a unique coral restoration partnership that enables citizen science volunteers to participate in cutting-edge marine habitat restoration. It will also be the first time the groups have come together since the opening of the Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration (IC2R3) at Mote. The IC2R3 is advancing coral reef research using new seawater systems, raceways and experimental tanks for studying the effects of rising ocean temperatures and ocean acidification on multiple species. The Lab is also equipped for next generation genomic sequencing and analyses that will help uncover the best genetic strains of corals for reef restoration and more.
This article talks about our recent challenge in Key West where Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge Warriors and Gold Star Teen Adventures joined MOTE Marine Laboratories to restore damaged reefs. Warriors and teens collected the staghorn coral that was propagated by MOTE and then places in it’s permanent home…a memorial reef honoring those that have fallen in combat.
In order to participate in the reef restoration project, those combat wounded warriors and Gold Star teens that weren’t already, had to get certified to dive right there in Key West. The adventure produced awareness for our fragile marine ecosystem, as well as awareness of other military groups and their struggles.
Under the direction of the amazing staff at MOTE and various other organizations, our Gold Star families discovered that they are still a vital part of the military and non-military community, and the Combat Wounded Veterans found a new way to contribute to the healing of the ocean, and others while healing themselves.
The final stage of the Key West challenge was to do research on prosthetics after the reef restoration dives were complete. The research helps prosthetists understand the effects certain conditions can have on prosthetic limbs, as well as address the unique challenge that being underwater with prosthetic limbs creates. Buoyancy and maneuverability are difficult to learn when you are being certified, but they become monumental challenges when you are learning to scuba dive AND are missing limbs! The prosthetists work hard during these trips to develop ways to make life with limb loss easier both in the water and on land.