The Coral Reef Conservation Specialty Course is one of the Project Aware courses aimed at educating both the diving and the non-diving community with regard to looking after our planet. Coral Reefs are the lifeblood of our oceans. Coral reef conservation/protection is a process of maintaining healthy coral reefs. Two types of stressors are associated with reef systems: the natural and human-induced. The effects of these stressors can range from negligible to catastrophic. Reefs are not well adapted to survive exposure to long-term stress. Some examples include agricultural and industrial runoff, increased sedimentation from land clearing, human sewage and toxic discharges. Reducing these stressors mitigates the effects of increased ocean temperature associated with climate change. Short-term stressors can also inflict damage, such as from boat anchors or accidental groundings. Boaters can protect coral by dropping their anchors on sandy patches of sea bed. Accidental groundings by boats can obliterate large areas of coral reef. Lettuce corals and branching corals such as elkhorn and finger coral are extremely fragile, but even massive boulder corals can be crushed or snapped off and turned upside down to die by a sailboat keel or groundings in sand and even the churning action of propellers can cause major localised siltation, indirectly killing adjacent corals. At Utina we take an active role to try to educate both divers and students as to how they can help our local environment and take the knowledge they have learnt and pass it on to others by example.
Creating good divers with good buoyancy skills is a start but by no means the end. New/Student divers generally learn from other good divers.
The course will give you a broad outline as to what problems face our coral reefs, where they problems come from - both short term and long term and what we can do today and what we can do for the future.
Most of the course is classroom based presentations and videos with some knowledge reviews and a final examination covering what we know and what we have learnt from our studies but on dives we will look at specific problems we face in our environment in Gozo and how these are repeated elsewhere on our planet.
The course manual is included in the cost of the course as is the certification for the successful candidate. For more information CLICK on the Project Aware Logo on our Homepage as this will provide you with more information on the Charity; its aims and objectives and its current projects. We can forward a PDF copy of the manual by email for home study before you come to Gozo or we can send a copy by post at a small additional cost.