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Thursday, April 27, 2017

National Week of The Ocean


Sea Life Under the Ocean

This week, Sub Sea Systems celebrated National Week of the Ocean by posting facts about sea life to our social media audiences. Utilizing Sea TREK, Reef Alliance, and SSS social pages, we reflected on the beauty of our oceans and the sea life within.

Taking this opportunity to teach others about our oceans aligns with the messaging promoted through Reef Alliance. Reef Alliance is an evolving program that promotes sustainable diving practices and environmental education. Primarily delivered to individuals who participate in Sea TREK helmet diving tours, Reef Alliance focuses on educating individuals who may be encountering marine life for their very first time. The goal of Reef Alliance is to create awareness of conservation efforts, ocean life protection, and reef restoration through a variety of messaging.

Conservation

Reef Alliance is committed to conservation efforts. Embracing the slogan “think locally; act globally”, the Alliance promotes Reef Alliance Day, an event that coincides with Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. All over the world, thousands of volunteers work together to remove trash and debris from beaches, lakes, and rivers. Reef Alliance Day brings together a team, which included SSS staff, to clean up local waterways. Participants can “sign up to clean up” online, and the event is promoted via social media campaigns.

Several Reef Alliance members also participate in annual Earth Day cleanups. This year volunteers from Coral World Ocean Park recovered more than 50 bags of trash and debris from a 1-acre plot of mangroves!

Additionally, visitors to the Reef Alliance’s website are encouraged to take a pledge to commit to conservation. The pledge involves a commitment to respect the ocean, reduce waste by recycling, and to “take only photos and leave only bubbles” during ocean exploration. You can take the pledge here. 

Protecting Wild Fish Populations

school of fish
Photo Courtesy Wikipedia
Reef Alliance and Sea TREK are proud to partner with Rising Tide Conservation; a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of coral reefs and wild fish populations through sustainable aquaculture. Rising Tide collaborates with research universities and public aquariums to discover new methods to captive-breed saltwater aquarium fish, in order to reduce the negative impact of fishing on coral reefs.

Donations raised through the SeaTREK program at Discovery Cove Orlando have contributed nearly $50,000 to Rising Tide Conservation - enough to fully fund the research of one Ph.D. student. A portion of every payment for a Sea TREK adventure at Discovery Cove is donated to Rising Tide.


Restoring and Enhancing Our Reefs

Photo Courtesy Nick Hobgood
One method of maintaining healthy reefs and healthy tourism is to take pressure off the natural reef through artificial enhancements. The Alliance promotes these enhancements, which allow sea life populations to thrive. Reef balls, 3D printed modular reefs, and decommissioned, stripped down vehicles are several ways to enhance an underwater area; thus not relying on neighboring natural reef environments for entertainment. These manmade structures can convert a once barren area to a thriving home– providing surfaces for new coral growth and hiding places for fish while offering an interesting scene for human visitors to observe. 

Many Sea TREK locations incorporate artificial enhancements, which not only give visitors fabulous photo opportunities, but also improve reef health and growth.



If you would like to learn more about
Reef Alliance and how you can help protect our oceans and waterways, check out 
http://www.reefalliance.com







Reef Alliance Link