REEF is proud to highlight Scuba Center, a Conservation Partner in Minnesota. REEF Conservation Partners are organizations and dive shops committed to protecting marine environments worldwide. As valued REEF ambassadors, they serve as centers for marine conservation actions, outreach, and education. You can view the full listing of Conservation Partners or register your organization as a REEF Conservation Partner here.
In what ways do you participate with REEF’s main programs?
We have a strong community of avid divers and fish enthusiasts. We’ve been running “Fish Nights” since 2014. We usually choose Fish Night topics based on upcoming shop trips. Our very first Fish Night was joining a REEF Fishinar on Pacific Northwest fish, as we had a group of divers heading up to British Columbia.
If we can’t join a live Fishinar, we will watch an archived Fishinar on a region where we hope to travel soon. Sometimes one of our instructors or divers puts together a presentation on a particular region. We’ve also had several Fish Nights focusing on the invasive lionfish. A number of our instructors and divers are avid lionfish hunters so they will share hunting tips and tricks. We don’t have a lot of active REEF surveyors yet, but our staff and divers have surveyed on shop and personal trips last year in different regions.
What other actions do you take to promote marine conservation?
We can see firsthand how pollution, littering, and invasive species affect our local lakes. We always promote safe and environmentally friendly dive practices and we incorporate marine conservation efforts into our trips when we can. Some divers participated in coral planting efforts on Scuba Center trips to Bonaire and the Philippines. We also join local clean-up efforts when we can. One of our recently certified divers chose a lake clean up project as part of a community service project for Scouts. She and her family removed a lot of fishing line and lures from an area where we do training dives.
How can REEF members get involved with your dive shop/organization?
Our Fish Nights are currently on hold, but we hope to pick them up again when it is safe to do so. We recently started making daily Facebook posts from various trips that Scuba Center has taken over the years. Check out the photo of the day to see if you recognize the fish or critter or if the photo is from somewhere you’ve been (or have always wanted to go!) Our Facebook page is also where we will post new trips or events like Fish Night.
We’re open for classes and dive training with reduced class sizes for safety and social distancing. Usually we organize several local fun dives during the summer dive season. Most of that is on hold but anyone who is a certified diver is welcome to join us at one of our local lakes when we have a fun dive. Check out our website at www.scubacenter.com.