Source: Sun Sentinel | Published: September 23, 2021 | Author: Emmett Hall
MMA fighter, Miami Dolphins player and veterans dive to inspect Lauderdale-By-The-Sea’s coral reef
There is strength in numbers and that was evident by the outpouring of support that showed up at Lauderdale-By-The-Sea for the Pepsi Stronger Together and Force Blue’s Coastal Conservation Ops summer tour.
The initiative is part of the summer-long marine conservation series that included coral reef disease monitoring, sea turtle surveys and beach cleanups.
Florida has the third-longest barrier reef system in the world that is known as the Florida Reef Tract. Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is part of that reef tract, which has a three-tier system that runs parallel to the beach.
The Florida Reef Tract treasure is under duress with over 90% of the coral ridge cover reduced over the last few decades. A call to action was sent out to help prevent further damages. Pepsi Stronger Together teamed up with Force Blue, NAUI, Keep Florida Beautiful and dive volunteers to lend a helping hand with the hope of stemming the tide of coral tissue loss disease.
Professional mixed martial artist and two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison joined Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mack Hollins to strap on the dive gear for a beach dive cleanup and investigation of the coral reef system. They were joined by 30 former Marine divers and over 50 recreational divers at El Prado Park in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.