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Dive Report: Trash and Corals – A Killer Combo

This Week’s Dive Report

Conditions this week were, again, very nice! We had slight winds and sunny skies — perfect weather to find yourself topside on a dive boat in the Florida Keys.

On Saturday morning, Islamorada Dive Center participated in the “Shoreline Restoration Services” marine debris clean-up tournament. We teamed up with Coastal Realty of the Florida Keys to bring up a bounty of trash. This was enough for a second-place win!

Sadly, everything collected is a mere “drop in the bucket” when it comes to plastics and pollution in our oceans. The Ocean Conservancy estimates that 8 million metric tons of plastics from land enter our seas every year. That’s the equivalent of dumping one New York City garbage truck full of plastic into the ocean every minute of every day for the entire year — horrible! We can and must all work together to curb our plastic addition and our trash problem, for the future of our waters.

Team Coastal Realty of the Florida Keys took second place in the “Shoreline Restoration Services” marine debris clean-up tournament this past weekend.We followed up that excellent morning of trash removal by actively restoring our reef on I.CARE coral restoration dives. Corals need clean, unpolluted environments to thrive because trash can get wrapped around fragile coral colonies and abrade or break them. If the seafloor is covered in trash, it could get in the way of new baby corals trying to settle, or encourage growth of algae, which does the same.

Doing these activities on the same day really emphasized, for me, just how connected land and sea are, and how everything we do up here affects what goes on down there. Sometimes, that’s easy to forget, so it’s nice to find ways to reinforce those lessons. All-in-all, it was a full, beautiful and rewarding day of helping our local reefs.

Next Week’s Dive Report

Conditions for this entire month have been incredible, and this last week of September is no exception. Calm seas ahead, so call us and get on a dive boat before winter hits. I know, I know — Florida “winter,” but still.

Conservation Update

I.CARE continues to plant corals every Saturday. This past weekend, we planted over 70 corals. This upcoming Saturday, you can do the same with Key Dives in Islamorada.

Conservation Tip

When you clean up trash along the shoreline and when you encounter it in the ocean, you act as an ambassador of the planet.


Plastics, ghost fishing line and other trash in our oceans can damage fragile corals. Help by stopping as much trash and plastics as you can from entering our oceans, and removing what you find there!

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Florida Keys Open to Visitors

The Florida Keys reopened to visitors June 1, but the novel coronavirus remains a reality, despite the relaxation of travel restrictions to the island chain. If you’re traveling to the Keys, there are simple precautions to take.

As a vacation rental company, the following are the measures we are implementing:

Recommended Safety Measures 
Effective May 18, 2020, the following measures are recommended as minimum standards for vacation rentals that are accepting reservations and guests for any length of stay:

  • Maintain adequate time between the conclusion of a guest stay and the check-in of the next guest stay for appropriate cleaning and sanitation.
  • Clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in the property between each guest stay
  • Wash all linens, dishware, and other service items available for use by guests between each guest rental.
  • Provide sufficient soap and surface sanitation supplies for guests to utilize in the vacation rental property during the guest’s rental period.
  • Ensure adequate safety protocols are in place and publicly displayed, in line with CDC guidance, regarding shared or multi-residence amenities such as pools, gyms, and other communal spaces.

Other Best Practices
Effective May 18, 2020, the following best practices are also recommended for vacation rentals that are accepting reservations and guests for any length of stay:

  • Use mobile platforms for customer service and communication with guests, including the acceptance of payments by mobile or electronic methods.
  • Minimize direct guest contact with property owners or managers through remote check-in and check-out procedures.
  • Post signage or other notices regarding the cleaning practices that are completed prior to each stay.
  • Display signage or notices to guests in the rental property to frequently remind guests to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the wiping and sanitation of touched surfaces.

The following guidance is recommended for all visitors arriving from areas outside the Keys as well as for residents of the island chain. It satisfies officials’ request for voluntary public health measures and personal responsibilities. Read Here