This project is about producing long-awaited 5 underwater maps and guides for some key scuba diving sites in Miami-Dade County (MDC).
There are more than 50 artificial reefs in MDC – if you want to know more about them click here (this is our own “Wreck Wiki” where we keep useful information of our wrecks). Many of them are among the best dives in the world. An artificial reef is a man-made underwater reef (usually a sunken vessel or shipwreck) which intention is to offer shelter for fish and proliferate coral growth. Additionally, these sites offer great scuba diving experiences and hot spots for sport fishermen – given the huge amount of marine life that congregates around them.
In south Florida, these kind of guides/maps are available already for most counties, but not for MDC. And it’s very curious that many of the best dive sites are right here in Miami.
Both scuba diving and sport fishing are key tourist attractions of this area. Our project will only help the local tourism industry, offering better insights on how beautiful our underwater ecosystems are.
Our project consists of carefully selecting 5 sites in MDC, plan how and when data will be collected and then generate 3D models as a result of these effort. We will be partnering with Reef Smart Guides who has done this before not only in Florida but all over the world.
We believe that each site will require at least 2 dives to be able to collect high quality data that can then be used to generate the model. This means that we will be doing around 10 dives for this project.
The costs of the project are basically the diving boat fees, breathing gases and the services from Reef Smart to generate the models.
Both of us – Alejandro and Pablo (project leaders) – are avid local scuba divers, underwater photographers and videographers, certified scuba instructors and definitely passionate about the environment. We both spend a lot of time surveying local dive sites regularly. We want not only locals but any diver in the world to enjoy the wonders Miami has to offer when it comes to scuba diving.
We won’t be making any money out of this project now or in the future. Our goal is to help our local community and the activity we love the most: scuba diving.
Risks and challenges
The main risk we see is timing: for collecting the data, we need good diving conditions that are not always the case in south Florida. If we plan for a dive and the conditions are not good it basically means we will need to plan for another dive. Both of us have been diving these waters for years and have learnt quite a bit about how to look on the weather forecast and find good diving conditions.