A very successful week with Mote!

A very successful week with Mote!

How awesome is this message from Erich Bartels (Staff Scientist/Program Manager/Dive Safety Officer for Mote Marine Laboratory)? Check out how many coral colonies were planted on the reef and created in the nursery!

“CWVC/SCUBAnauts – I just wanted to take a moment, now that the dust has settled, to thank all of you for the time and effort that went into planning last weeks restoration dives with Mote. Please pass along my thanks to all of the CWVC divers and their support staff, along with all of the kids and dive pros with SNI, for all of their help and assistance in the water last week. Despite some challenges coordinating boat schedules, along with weather that didn’t always cooperate, we still managed to complete an amazing amount of work….in all, through the combined efforts of CWVC, SNI, and Mote over the three day period, we were able to outplant 500 new colonies of staghorn coral, as well as create more than 2,200 new staghorn colonies in our underwater nursery. In addition, more than 60 new anchors for our coral “trees” were installed in the nursery, which will provide the desperately needed infrastructure for expanding our staghorn “spawning nursery”, establishing a dedicated area for our newly developed effort to propagate and outplant elkhorn coral, as well as creating a permanent location within the nursery to be used for Mote and Capt. Hooks to develop a community-based restoration program to further engage the dive community in Mote’s ongoing restoration efforts year-round.

Thank you all again, and a big thank you to Kim and the entire staff at Capt. Hooks for their support, flexibility, and for ensuring that everyone had a safe and enjoyable experience. Thank you!!!”

CWVC Honored with Victories for Veterans Grant Award by the Duke Energy Foundation

CWVC Honored with Victories for Veterans Grant Award by the Duke Energy Foundation


ST. PETERSBURG, FL, October 10, 2017 – Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge (“CWVC”) was honored as a recipient of Duke Energy’s and Tampa Bay Rays’ “Victories for Veterans” program. The grant of approximately $8,800 will be used to support the “Coral Restoration Challenge,” which has been formed in partnership with MOTE Marine Laboratories (“MOTE”), located in Summerland Key, FL, to restore coral reefs in the Florida Keys.

“Duke Energy is honored to help support our veterans,” said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida President. “Last year our ‘Victories for Veterans’ partnership with the Tampa Bay Rays provided invaluable services to 1,300 local veterans and we are proud to continue this investment and assist other worthwhile organizations, like Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge, Inc. We hope it will have a lasting effect on our community and is one of the many ways our company supports the men and women who have served our country.”

Challenge, Research, and Inspire

Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the medical industry with engaged volunteers for field-based assessments and research that advances treatment for wounded veterans through challenging expeditions and purpose-based events. Research is conducted in extreme conditions that push current treatments and devices beyond the normal use, creating new ideas for better treatments.

During CWVC’s annual SCUBA-related research on prosthetics and orthotics, CWVC and MOTE conducted joint operations to restore the reefs by planting coral that MOTE has grown in a nursery. This exercise allows the veterans to participate in a mission to save a great natural resource. The Coral Restoration Challenge will further this effort to address the significant decline of the reefs, which are needed to protect coastal areas and provide valuable habitat for fish and invertebrates.

Other Challenges that have been accomplished by CWVC veterans include:

  • Climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro (mission objectives: Prosthetics, TBI, PTSD)
  • Descended into the Grand Canyon (mission objectives: Prosthetics)
  • Climbed Mt. Aconcagua (mission objectives: Prosthetics, TBI, PTSD)
  • Denali Expedition (mission objectives: Prosthetics, Double Lung Transplant study)
  • More challenges and information can be found on the website: CombatWounded.org.

Our veterans inspire those that have been recently injured or are facing new challenges related to their injuries by visiting VA hospitals to tell the story of how they have overcome similar obstacles and are now doing things like climbing mountains and SCUBA diving.

In addition to inspiring others, our vets who volunteer to transplant corals derive great purpose and inspiration from their assisting MOTE scientists in preserving the health of coral reefs in the Florida Keys. This CWVC “Coral Restoration Challenge” aligns itself with the views of the last Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Martin Dempsey, who said, “Veterans who have volunteered to serve their nation as military members also will derive great purpose from continuing to volunteer in their civilian life afterwards.”

About Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge, Inc.

Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge has been working with injured and combat wounded veterans since 2011. CWVC began by creating case studies and now conducts research on prosthetics, orthotics, and traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress with partners, such as the University of Hartford.

CWVC is a member of Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium, (“MTEC”), a biomedical technology consortium collaborating with multiple government agencies under a 10-year renewable Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC).

More information can be found at: CombatWounded.org

Media Contact:

Deborah K. Pawlowski


SCUBA/MOTE Operations Contact:

Reid Carlock
(727) 942-8415
10490 Gandy Blvd.
St. Petersburg, FL 33702


Record-Breaking Coral Planting in FL Keys

Record-Breaking Coral Planting in FL Keys

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.

Original Article