Transference: How the Inspired Citizens of Florida Are Protecting Their Aquatic Treasures

Jade, 10, Student: “This weekend was awesome, I got to plant coral on Pickle Reef on Saturday and see some coral planted in the past thriving on Davis Reef on Sunday.”

I stared at Jade from across the coral heads, watching her slump over her clipboard as she scribbled the names of the fish around her on her ID chart, suspended in the water column

with her legs crossed tight, displaying buoyancy control that a seasoned SCUBA diver would envy. Her bubbles rose serenely up the water column to the surface. She moved along the reef to identify a different species of reef creature.

Tracy, American Airlines, Mother of Jade and Dianna : ”I am so impressed with the educational activities planned by DEEP this weekend, I truly enjoyed participating with my daughter and the other members working in such rewarding projects.”

If I weren’t trying to keep a reg in my mouth, I would have been slack-jawed in awe. Jade is only 10 years old and I had learned on the boat that this was only her second open water dive - ever. The first was a coral planting event with the Coral Restoration Foundation the day before that our group, the Divers for Education and Environmental Protection Foundation (DEEP Foundation, Inc.), had participated in. Jade, along with her mom, had been certified with DEEP only a few weeks prior.

DEEP being silly

Jessica, Assurant, Mother of Katelyn and Emily: “I love seeing the parents and kids getting outside, having fun, and working together to do good for the planet.”

The organization itself was officially formed just under a month ago. Seriously. DEEP’s inception was sparked by the belief that anyone: adult, child, diver, non-diver, any person of any background and experience, can take action in enjoying and preserving the cascading wonder of Florida’s marine riches. They need only possess one thing: the capacity to care. With care comes passion. The transference of that passion to others precedes a power capable of remarkable feats. Why did there have to be any red tape or boundaries? Who was standing in front of us saying we couldn’t ask questions, ask for help, do some research, find the right people, and participate ourselves?