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It's Coralpalooza in Key Largo

Divers tend to corals in an underwater nursery.
Divers tend to corals in an underwater nursery.

In recognition of World Oceans Day, Key Largo's Coral Restoration Foundation is hosting its second annual Coralpalooza, inviting volunteer recreational divers to help promote ocean preservation Friday and Saturday.

Participants must be certified divers. Hands-on dive activities include helping foundation staff and interns in underwater coral nurseries, out-planting corals to Upper Keys reefs or monitoring the wellness of corals in existing colonies.

Friday, an afternoon training session is to be held at the Murray E. Nelson Government and Cultural Center in Key Largo with a presentation and hands-on training. Saturday, participants are to meet their assigned dive groups at a predetermined dive shop location in either Islamorada or Key Largo.

Team leaders are to be assigned as guides and individuals are to be assigned to groups on registration. If members of a group want to dive together, efforts will be made to accommodate their request but it is not guaranteed.

Participation in Coralpalooza is free although donations to the foundation are welcome.

Coralpalooza helps raise awareness about World Oceans Day, recognized internationally on June 8 each year, as well as the importance of the restoration, preservation and conservation of the continental United States' only living coral barrier reef that parallels the Florida Keys.

For more details contact the foundation’s marketing director, Mari Backus, at (305) 453-7030 or visit coralrestoration.org.

In 2015, the Coral Reef Foundation's restoration efforts resulted in more than 22,500 corals out-planted along Florida Keys reefs, the foundation says.

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