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‘Reef Ranger Kids’ was orginally founded in the summer of 2016 by Wyatt Borden who during his open water scuba training absolutely fell in love with scuba diving and the underwater reef system.

13891903_598881903604518_6809214168229716978_nWyatt always loved sharks and the ocean and was always having fun participating and volunteering in things like ocean clean-ups.  But this was a whole new thing for Wyatt!  He wanted to start an organization to help other kids be a part of the solution.  What solution?  The solution needed urgently to help Florida’s Reefs.  See Wyatt spent time attending a few workshops on coral and reef and fish afterward he quickly recognized how much the reefs and everything in it were in trouble and needed his help.  Florida has a polluted water problem, an over-fishing problem and this has a huge impact on reefs.

13710485_598881403604568_2579062988841023587_oWyatt has attended a SeaFAN Bleach Watch presentation and not only learned there are so few people who are working as citizen scientist divers and surveying coral reefs to watch for bleaching but he was also inspired to commit himself to becoming a citizen scientific diver and helping the program out.  As a newly certified diver trained with Scuba Lessons Inc. Wyatt can now do field surveys for coral bleaching reports to SeaFAN.  Wyatt in the same dive will not only do surveys on the status of the beautiful coral he gets to dive.  He will also be able to document the fish and report his findings to the free Reef.org database system.  He has even planned to take a little underwater camera to document it and he can do his surveys when he gets back home online.  It is actually not that hard at all.  Like filling in a simple form online.  This system which scientist use to make important decisions about research and is also used to determine the protection offered through Florida Fish and Wildlife for certain species of fish that Reef.org field counts may prove are in decline.  This essentially protects the reef as an accomplishment one individual CAN do to help save the reef system.  Wyatt wants to really see the reefs be protected and committed himself to not just doing this himself but also to work on spreading the word about it and encouraging other divers including Jr. diver kids like him to join him in the dives and do the surveys.  The entire family of divers can be Reef Rangers.  If you can snorkel or dive you can do the surveys.  Even if you cannot you can help with the cleanups on the beach before or after the dives.  Reef rangers is a new program for people to help protect and guard the reefs, against, well – everything that could hurt them.cropped-13669655_528528807344305_977245371393801567_n.jpg

This Reef.org and SeaFAN bleach watch programs and data recording systems are what many scientists use to make important decisions about research, the protection offered through Florida Fish and Wildlife for certain species of fish or coral that Reef.org field counts or SeaFAN bleach watch reports may prove are in decline.  This essentially protects the reef and is something he determined he can do as one individual to help the reefs.  But he also showed up for this dive on a day when it was preceded by a fun beach clean up event with the SOS Dive Team!  What fun he had as he and his mother got to meet Dr. Derek Burke who helped that day (He is the scientist who works tagging sharks at the Guy Harvey Shark Research Lab at Nova Southeastern University.)   Wyatt wants to really see the reefs be protected and committed himself to spreading the word about it and encouraging other divers including kids like him to join him in the dives,

13600193_1741212359471448_6632464257828333023_nWyatt really has some ocean love in his heart for sharks and many other animals on the reef and wants to really see the reefs be protected and committed himself to spreading the word about it and encouraging other snorkelers and divers including kids like him to join him in the dives, field survey, bleach watch programs and beach clean-ups.  He wants to encourage many others to help to collect the data and work towards better conservation laws to protect Florida’s beautiful ocean reefs.

The main effort of documentation of this degradation of coral or fish declines are very critical if we are ever to hope to get protection measures and laws in place to help stop the causes of coral bleaching.  Some factors are just natural but most are man-made reasons for ocean coral or fish decline.13920886_1750785165180834_7124900021905959244_n

Reefs get damage when people walk on them, break off coral or during storms and other fowl weather.  The weather they usually will come back from but the man made damage if continued is not something many species of coral can survive.  Education can help with that.  When we pollute and throw out plastics we put toxins in the water and non-biodegradable substances that animals like turtles can eat.  These animals will feel full in their tummy because the plastics won’t break down and their

When we pollute and throw out plastics we put toxins in the water and non-biodegradable substances that animals like turtles and even fish do actually mistake for food and do eat.  These animals will feel full in their tummy because the plastics won’t break down and their bodys cannot process them as they would food.  The animals then don’t eat enough food and slowly starve.  But Reef Rangers like Wyatt can make a difference by doing beach and ocean clean-ups before, after and/or underwater during their dives/  Fellow Reef Rangers can join Wyatt in helping to prevent these animals from suffering this kind of tragedy.  We can also encourage others not to pollute.  We can work to create awareness of why it is so important to dispose of trash properly and to pick up trash when you see it.  People generally do not want to hurt turtles.  If they knew their garbage was doing that level of damage, then hopefully they might stop putting it on the ground and dispose of it properly.  Maybe they will go one step further and instead of using disposable cups, cans or containers instead purchase a reusable cup or container that they won’t throw away at all, just clean and reuse.  I think you get the idea.  Being a Reef Ranger means you care and take the easy small steps that it takes to protect our state waters and beaches and most importantly reefs for future generations of people and animals.  Every little effort makes a difference and if enough little efforts make enough differences we can change the world one kid, and one Reef Ranger at a time!

Be a part of the solution and join the Reef Ranger’s today!  If you are not a diver you can do the surveys in some areas as a snorkeler and Scuba Lessons Inc. is committed to offering free snorkeling classes to anyone interested in joining the commitment Wyatt has made as a Reef Ranger and want to take part in beach and ocean clean-ups and field surveys on coral and fish  as part of the Reef Ranger program.  Scuba Lessons Inc. has also offered to discount the scuba program for anyone who is an actively participating Reef Ranger surveyor for more than 3 months (showing at least 30 logged field or bleach watch surveys reported with clean ups done before or after) $100.00 OFF their scuba training program.

There are far more rewards to being a part of this program.  You will meet great friends and have lots of really great experiences and super fun diving, and/or snorkeling the beautiful reefs we are working to protect.  Your parks and beaches will be cleaner and you will soon have opportunities to do more exciting club dives like Disney’s Epcot Nemo and Friends Aquarium Dive with the SHARKS for example.  Yes we are about protecting the reef and everything in it.  It is a cool club for cool kids and hope you are willing to join in the fun and eexcitementand conservation efforts with us.  We will be posting our events on the conservation dive club meet up online calendar board at: http://www.MeetUp.com/ConservationDivers/ and http://www.MeetUp.com/ConservationDiveClub/  both of which are free to sign-up for and you can view the calendar of our events there; along with other environmental opportunities that you can help with if you so desire.

 

 

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