Because you are a diver, you're already more aware of and more alarmed by changes in our environment than most. Living coral reefs attract millions of snorkelers and scuba divers each year. By the year 2000 there will be 10 million new divers in North America alone. An increasing awareness and concern for the protection and wise management of the coral reef ecosystem is essential. There is no question about divers causing damage. More than one million U.S. divers impact coral reefs 36 million times each year. Our coral reefs are being used up faster than they can replenish themselves. Many divers still believe corals are an inexhaustible resource composed of an inanimate, indestructible rock. A study by the University of South Florida has confirmed that divers can pose a serious threat to our coral reefs. The average scuba diver knocks, bumps into, pushes over, or kicks living corals an average of seven times for every 30 minutes under water. Snorkelers have at least one negative contact with the corals for every 30 minutes in the water. Every diver, novice and expert alike, is a vital link in natures's complex eco-system. Each of us can help protect the world's coral reefs. The problems are critical . . . but not hopeless. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Dangerous Boat Handling Piggy divers are responsible for many of the small boat groundings that destroy corals which have been growing for hundreds of years. Piggys run boats carelessly through the reefs, clipping off corals, shredding sea grasses, and stirring up sediments which can smother corals. U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reports confirm that over 50 percent of fatal boating accidents are alcohol-related. Operate boats sensibly. Drinking, diving and boat-driving don't mix.