The scuba diving in Key Largo was particularly good this year in Key Largo we’re happy to announce! There are several reasons for that, and we thought we’d go over some of the things that have impacted the diving world this year, at least from the perspective of Key Largo and the Florida Keys. It’s not all good news, as some of the things that have caused the excellent conditions for diving has also caused a bad thing to return for the first time in many years; coral bleaching.
2015 brought calm, warm, clear water scuba diving…and a lot of it! I can’t remember this many good days of diving quite frankly, and there were only a handful of days with bad diving conditions. El Nino is partly responsible for these conditions, as this Pacific Ocean phenomenon generally causes hotter than normal waters in the Atlantic, and generally less wind. We certainly saw that this year! But, it’s a good news-bad news thing…as unfortunately, the warmer than normal water temps brought some bleaching, which we haven’t seen to any great extent in many years. It appears that the Keys were affected less than other areas, like Hawaii for example, but any bleaching is significant. Not all the news is bad on this front, as the Coral Restoration Foundation are making huge strides in “actively restoring our reefs” by harvesting, growing and transplanting corals. Now they are even using data they’ve obtained through operations to harvest and transplant more bleach-resistant strains of corals! Amazing stuff, and hope for the future! (The CRF operates on donations, so for scuba divers who want to help preserve our reefs this is the place to start.)
As many divers already know, Key Largo diving always means marine life. But quite possibly the best in the Caribbean! As many islands throughout the Caribbean struggle with marine life conservation, the Florida Keys has some of the strongest conservation enforcement capabilities in the world. The implementation of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary has been a windfall for marine conservation here. So all the “no-take” zones, additional rules and enforcement resources have had an effect, as can be seen in the abundance and diversity of the marine life on our reefs and wrecks. Scuba Divers are seeing things that had become almost non-existant…like Goliath Groupers, Spadefish, and Reef Sharks. A very good sign for the reef system here, and of course the strong marine life continues to make Key Largo a world-class dive destination!
Your staff here at Sea Dwellers Dive Center of Key Largo wants to thank everyone for a great 2015, a special year of scuba diving! We appreciate your patronage, and hope to see you diving with us again soon!