305-743-2444 (Marathon) • 305-872-9863 (Big Pine Key) • 305-296-3823 (Key West)

Join Us to Make a Difference!

Capt. Hook’s Coral Reef Program

Our goal is to get the information out to the divers so they are aware of the challenges the Florida Keys reef systems face daily and get them to participate Looe Key nursery dives and area coral planting.

We are working with two nursery programs in the Big Pine Key/Looe Key area – Mote Marine Labs and the Reef Renewal USA. We will be taking divers into each. Participants will not only gain more diving skills but will also be eligible for two specialty certifications: Coral Reef Preservation Diver and the Advanced Coral Reef Out Plant Diver.

There are a few prerequisites – you must be an open water certified diver to work in the nurseries, you will attend a short lecture and hands-on program for each course (one time for each course).  You will learn about the biology of corals, the importance of the Florida Reef tract, how corals are grown in the labs, how to clean coral trees and structures without causing damage, how to fragment corals, how to cut corals, how to out plant, and how to set anchors in the nurseries for future structures. Upon completion divers will be taken to the nurseries and do the work they just learned about during the lecture and course work.

A single day program costs $99.00 with more than half of the proceeds going to the nursery program you are working with.

The Florida Reef tract needs your help to continue the progress that has been made!

Reef Renewal USA

In 2019, Mike Echevarria founded Reef Renewal USA, Inc., (RRUSA) and with the help of Ken Nedimyer, a pioneer in coral science in the Florida Keys and RRUSA’s Technical Director, they are leading the science and permitting of all coral nursery and outplanting activities. Together, they are making a difference by coming up with innovative ways to grow several species of coral for outplanting and restoring the coral populations throughout the Florida Keys.

Reef Renewal USA, Inc. has both land-based coral nurseries and in underwater nurseries with both PVC and smplified but effective rope-based trees.

Mote Marine Labs

Mote Marine Laboratory’s Coral Reef Restoration Program develops and applies science-based strategies with the goal of restoring depleted coral reefs throughout the Florida Keys. Mote researchers are working to optimize their restoration efforts by priortizing native genetic species that can tolerate the stressors such as increased water temperatures and ocean acidification occuring in the Florida Keys.

Mote scientists cultivate diverse corals for restoration and research in land-based coral nurseries and in underwater nurseries where corals are grown on PVC “trees.”

Coral Fragging Party

A Capt. Hook’s “Make a Difference” Event

Learning Experience

Our Coral Fragging Parties are hosted by leaders in coral growth and restoration throughout the Florida Keys. This is your opportunity to learn from the most innovative coral researchers and restoration specialist in the world. Lesons learned and developed here in the Florida Keys are now being used throughout the world.

Hands-on Participation

You don’t sit on the sidelines here.  It is your participation that make our Coral Fragging Party a success.  We want you to be involved and part of the solution for the coral population in the Florida Keys.

For the Greater Good

We call it a Capt. Hook’s “Make a Difference” Event because that is truly what it does.  It multiplies the effort and it provides everyone with a greater understanding of what we all are trying to accomplish for our Florida Keys for our coral reef system.

Nusery Dives & Outplanting corals

“Building a Forest of Corals to add to the reef”

Nusery diving

On our nursery dives, you start to see how it is possible to “make a difference” when you see the growth from the fragmented  corals that were created during the parties.  There are usually all stages of growth for a number of different coral species, all mapped out over the nursery. Your effort can be to help build underwater trees that hold fragmented corals on plug beds or cleaning of the coral trees to harvesting corals for the next step to outplant on the reef.

outplanting corals

Outplanting is when you take ready to plant coral to the reef to make a new home for them. Coral species and even genotypes are carefully planted together to ensure the greatest probability of success in an area that best suits that species. This is where it is really rewarding and the more you visit the nursery and the outplanting areas on the reef the more you relaize you are “Making a Difference.”

Book Your Coral Restoration Trip Today!

At Capt. Hook’s, we normal do two coral nursery dives every month and we are considering adding more dates. We are in discussions right now to determine when our next Coral Fragging Party will be and it will be added to our booking site. Booking is easy. Just follow the booking instructions below, starting with selecting the dates of your dive or event. We will make sure everything is in order with follow-up phone calls to answer any of your questions.

Questions? Call (305) 872-9863 to speak with our friendly staff!