Sea Dwellers Dive Center of Key Largo is proud to announce that we are an official “Blue Star Operator”! What does this mean? Well let me explain…
According to NOAA, “The Florida Keys are home to the third-largest barrier coral reef in the world and beckon millions of visitors each year. The reef’s close proximity to land and an abundance of boat operators in the Keys make this diverse underwater world easily accessible for the novice snorkeler and the seasoned diver alike” (see NOAA Blue Star).
For this reason, NOAA has implemented the Blue Star Program here in the Keys for Dive Centers and Dive Operators. Again according to NOAA, “Blue Star is a program established by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to reduce the impact of divers and snorkelers on the coral reef ecosystem of the Florida Keys. It is a voluntary recognition program saluting charter boat operators who promote responsible and sustainable diving and snorkeling practices, helping keep the reef healthy for generations to come.”
So there you have it. A worthy cause I’d say for me, Sea Dwellers Dive Center, and anyone else working here who loves the unique marine ecosystem we have here. Key Largo is considered by many to be the “Dive Capital of the World” for many reasons including the amazing diversity and abundance of marine life found here. At Sea Dwellers we frequently hear our repeat divers tell us just how amazing the marine life is here, especially compared to many of the most popular dive destinations in the Caribbean. Simply put, there are few places left in the Caribbean that can boast the abundance and diversity of marine life we have in the Florida Keys. While we do not celebrate the sad fact that many islands in the Caribbean are seeing greatly diminished fish populations, we are proud that we have been able to buck this trend. This is not by chance, and the reason you can come down here and dive and see things like large groupers, snappers, permit, snook and goliath groupers, just to name a few, is due to the rigorous conservationist efforts found here. (BTW These fish I am mentioning are known to be good “eating” fish, (ie they taste good), and are just generally not found in any great numbers in the Caribbean anymore, but they are found in the Keys.)
Blue Star stresses conservationist education and awareness for the community of Dive Operators in the Keys. Coral reefs are under increased pressures globally. Through practicing responsible diving and snorkeling, you can help to lessen local stress on the reef while still partaking of its beauty. Book with a Blue Star recognized operator today, (like Sea Dwellers Dive center of Key Largo), and learn more about the wonders of the sanctuary and the coral reef ecosystem of the Florida Keys!
Rob & Staff