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!!!”

Florida Key Coral Restoration

Florida Key Coral Restoration

CWVC participants are in the news all over the Keys! They are making a difference in the lives of wounded veterans, and for wounded reefs…


Recently, members of the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge and SCUBAnauts International joined forces with scientists from Mote Marine Laboratory to plant nursery-grown corals near Looe Key. This event marked the fifth year of a unique coral restoration partnership that enables citizen science volunteers to participate in cutting-edge…

Read the article here: http://www.srqmagazine.com/srq-daily/2016-07-23/4454_Florida-Key-Coral-Restoration

Press Release: 5TH Annual Combat Wounded Veteran SCUBA Challenge Announced

Press Release: 5TH Annual Combat Wounded Veteran SCUBA Challenge Announced


5TH Annual Combat Wounded Veteran SCUBA Challenge Announced

ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA, MAR. 7, 2016 – Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge, Inc. (“CWVC”), www.combatwounded.org, headquartered in St. Petersburg, FL, announced that its 5th Annual SCUBA “Challenge” will be held July 16th through July 23rd in the Florida Keys. CWVC is dedicated to improving the lives of wounded or injured veterans by assisting them in realizing their newfound potential by providing “Challenge” expeditions that are physically and psychologically demanding and requiring extreme outdoor efforts.

The 2016 SCUBA Challenge will have combat wounded and injured veterans (i) participating in field work and case studies that furthers medical, physiological, biomedical and/or pathological sciences associated with their injuries, (ii) mentoring the youth of SCUBAnauts International (www.scubanautsintl.org), a marine science youth education organization (“SNI”), and (iii) participating in a coral restoration program with scientists from the Tropical Research Center of MOTE Marine Laboratory (www.mote.org). CWVC, SNI and MOTE are 501(c)(3) charitably-supported organizations. Each of the participating SCUBAnauts is an AAUS-qualified science diver.

The 2016 SCUBA Challenge will begin by pairing combat wounded and injured veterans with SCUBAnauts and giving them missions to accomplish. The first mission will be to restore damaged coral reef under the guidance of scientists from MOTE’s Tropical Research Marine Laboratory on Summerland Key. The second mission pairs SCUBAnauts and veterans in an underwater navigation course. Each pair must work efficiently together to accomplish their missions. See video about CWVC’s 2015 SCUBA Challenge at https://combatwounded.org/2015/11/10/video-combat-wounded-veteran-challenge-key-west-2015. Sofia Alaniz, who has been a SCUBAnaut for seven years and who participated in the 2015 SCUBA Challenge, said of the veterans, “It’s an amazing opportunity to be part of their lives. They’ve changed our lives by showing us what it means to serve our country and to never give up. I feel so lucky to have dove with them.”

Members of the CWVC Board of Directors include Jay Katzen (a career U.S. Foreign Service Officer), CAPT Dominic Gorie, USN, (Ret) (a retired NASA astronaut and veteran of four space shuttle missions), CAPT David Olson, USN (Ret) (the founder of CWVC and SCUBAnauts), LCDR Gerard Coleman, USN (Ret) (a professor of Marine Engineering Technology at Texas A&M University), and Ben J. Hayes, J.D. (an attorney, President of New York-Penn League, and former Major League Baseball pitcher).

Vice President
Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge, Inc.
Office: (727) 942-8415