Eco Divers Reef Foundation
Coral Nursery Program
Spend a week in Paradise, Learn to dive and help the reefs at the same time!
Sustainable Marine Canada will be co-ordinating group trips!
The Grand Cayman Department of Environment authorized Grand Cayman Eco Divers to take part in a Coral Nursery program that started in 2016. With assistance from Seas of Change and the Coral Restoration Foundation, Grand Caymans coral nurseries have had every opportunity to be a great success. Grand Cayman Eco Divers was founded on the ideals of giving back to the community and to helping protect and nurture our precious remaining coral reefs. This means the only thing missing is you!
Our coral nurseries are under the direct supervision of the Department of Environment and act under the Cayman Island laws regarding safe and sustainable practices for their amazing Marine Parks. We are always interested in taking a few extra minutes to talk with interested guests about how this exactly works, but here are a few general guidelines.
- Touching any coral living or dead is limited to licensed and trained handlers operating under authority of the DOE only. The first and worst way anyone could hinder this program would be to collect corals without training or permission.
- As trained and licensed handlers, we must also be mindful of how we train so that all guests and staff around the island are equally knowledgeable about their roles.
- Proper notation of activities underwater is critical during these first few months and years. The appearance of capable and skilled activities will help instill confidence in this programs abilities.
- Transplanted corals need to be planned out in advance and are done with the intent to maximize the chances for spawning to occur naturally in the following years. Spawned corals represent the real long term success of our reefs.
- Follow up studies need to be conducted on parent colonies, coral trees and planted corals to ensure that our activities are improving the reef and are providing measurable survival and growth over the following years.
- Tell your friends about this! We need people just like you to help take part in this and to show an interest in this form of education. Without the support of the diving community, the burden of replanting the reef falls onto a very few individuals.
Join Grand Cayman Eco Divers as we lead the way in coral restoration.
Dive vacation programs. Anyone can join us and learn about our reefs. Specialized training prepares you for a great experience underwater and you are able to help manage the coral nurseries we have placed around the island. Weekly planting sessions allow guests to help replant living coral onto our nearby reefs.
Coral reef degradation is a common issue around the world that often has multiple and nuanced causes. Global warming, ocean acidification, wastewater runoff and human interaction can all contribute directly to large scale loss of stony coral growth and long term reef reduction. Coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea have suffered especially noticeable losses and the limited biodiversity of species has made natural methods of recovery slow and ineffective in many situations
Our coral nurseries and outplant sites are mixed with a direct and hands on approach to reinvigorating our local reefs. Our students learn about coral reef custodianship while studying in one of the safest and well managed countries in the world.
We now have three coral nursery sites with over 500 mature coral colonies that can be outplanted, one dedicated outplant location to monitor, and three proposed locations for additional outplant of coral that students will be able to take part in.
Our nursery program is available to students and visitors interested in restoring the amazing coral reefs around Grand Cayman. We operate our student programs year round and will work around the schedule requests for each group. Please check our website and Facebook for current events and activities. Your group representative may email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
While you are here:
SCUBA diving will play an important role in our activities here in Grand Cayman. No previous experience is required and all our students will enjoy a complete dive training program while they are here. We advise to bring clothes for tropical weather, (shorts, t-shirts and sandals) and also to expect random weather patterns. A light rain jacket or pullover sweatshirt is advised. All classroom material will be provided for each student while they are here.
What to expect:
Our program will focus heavily on frequent SCUBA diving with morning classes to prepare students for their dives. Students will have a chance to reflect on the days activities and discuss upcoming events on our patio overlooking the ocean. Sunscreen and protective clothing is advised as we will be outdoors for much of the day.
College credits for students:
PADI (the Professional Association of Dive Instructors) is certified as an ACE accredited program that includes many of their SCUBA training programs. Please speak with your school administrator and department heads to make sure that these courses can apply toward your transcripts. Please go to https://www.padi.com/padi-courses/earn-college-credit-padi-courses for more information.
Check the Eco Divers web page for 2, 4 and 6 week programs as well.
One Week Coral Conservation Program $1,900 USD (flights and meals not included)
Dive into adventure with Eco Divers.
- Our one week program is open to both certified divers and anyone willing to learn about SCUBA diving. Our program allows non divers to spend the first two days earning the PADI Open Water certification.
- Certified divers are directed towards coral nursery courses and preparations to head underwater to participate in maintaining and managing our nursery sites.
This exciting one week program allows students and visitors to fast track training required to assist our coral conservation efforts. Morning classes lead to afternoon dives every day.
When you arrive on Island, you will be met by our staff and brought to your resort room,an orientation afterwards and a social meeting to get to know you better. In the morning, the fun begins.
Your first two days will depend on your experience with SCUBA diving. Untrained divers will be educated about safe diving procedures and by the third day will be participating in our nursery activities. Experienced divers will bypass the obligatory training and will begin coral nursery specific training. All of our students will spend the mornings in class reviewing material and the afternoons underwater learning.
By the third day, each student will be participating in maintaining our nursery sites. With three locations and nearly on thousand corals to manage, daily visits to the nurseries is vital to maintaining coral health.
Day four will lead into more advanced coral outplant training, discussing outplant and site selection criteria. Boat dives to explore for suitable outplant sites will expand our students confidence underwater.
Day five and six will involve monitoring outplant sites and each Friday we will move more coral to our outplanted locations. Student interaction is encouraged and discussions will be an integral part of our morning classes.
Join us here at Eco Divers for an amazing chance to discover something new underwater!