Florida Travel: Coral Restoration Ecotourism in the Florida Keys


– So I’ve had the opportunity
to dive all over the world, and for me, it’s just unlike
anywhere else I’ve ever been. My name is Adele Luta, and
I’m a scientist and innovator for the US government. So I was born in Chicago, but I grew up in southwest Florida. Now I live in the Washington DC area. I’ve come back to Florida
specifically so I can volunteer as a scuba diver with Coral
Restoration Foundation. Coral Restoration Foundation
is a marine conservation non-profit that manages the
largest coral restoration effort in the world. They’re taking an active approach to restoring the coral reefs, but they’re also doing
it through education and in monitoring the corals and to me, it was really important to
work with an organization that was using a scientific approach to actually growing the corals. Cause as a scientist,
I wanted to make sure that I was coming down to
volunteer my vacation time, that I was actually working
with an organization with that approach. As a scuba diver, I’m able
to go out into the nursery and actually help maintain the trees, and then when they’re at
the full-growth capacity, we can actually also harvest the coral and then take it out to the reefs, which is so rewarding to then out-plant it on the coral reefs. Coming back to the Coral
Restoration Foundation has been really fun because
you get to see the progress of the corals, if it’s a
few months or a year later, but also it’s the people. People are really special
and fun to work with. You can, you know, grab a beer, you can grab dinner on the beach, but then you also have
the opportunity to see just an amazing undersea world
that is unlike other places. I would absolutely recommend
coming down to Florida and participating in eco-tourism. Being able to not just help restore, but also maintain this beautiful world that we have is really important. (calm music)

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