Located in Key Largo, Florida, Rainbow Reef Career Development Center has a fleet of eight dive boats and an army of over 100 dive professionals within the company.
This massive amount of manpower is the driving force behind the new 501C3 non-profit organization Ocean Conservation Foundation.
OCF works side by side with partners such as Mote Marine Lab and the Coral Restoration Foundation growing and caring for corals, cleaning and maintaining nursery sites and so much more.
NOAA has estimated that in the Florida Keys alone, there is only 1-2% of remaining stony coral, and species such as Staghorn and Elkhorn are the most endangered. OCF’s goal for the future is to bring that number up to 25%. The sad truth is that without the help of non-profits such as OCF, the ocean will not bounce back.
Rainbow Reef currently has over a dozen adopted dive sites that are cared for and monitored by OCF. They also offer conservation dives available to any recreational diver, in which they learn about how to clean corals in a classroom setting, and spend an afternoon two-tank dive cleaning nursery “trees” as well as planting the coral itself. Part of the proceeds from these dives available to the public help fund OCF and its efforts.
OCF’s motto is simple: make every dive count. The foundation works tirelessly with Rainbow Reef’s fleet of dive boats and staff in an effort to race against time. Their goal for the future is to eventually have their own coral nurseries at as many sites as the Florida Keys will allow.
To learn more about OCF and its efforts, and to donate towards their efforts in the future, check out their website at oceanconservationfoundation.org.