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We use diving and the community to preserve and protect the natural world.


Image by Jim Beaudoin


Divers bring a unique skillset to their community, and many divers’ passion centers around their connection to the natural world. The underwater environments we know and love are struggling and in need of assistance. The goal of Deepwater Conservation Initiative (DCI) is to provide opportunities for divers to learn more about the issues these environments face, and actively participate in restoring and preserving these ecosystems.


Education is a key component to recruiting the community into conservation efforts, and DCI will focus on continuing community education to recruit support and foster stewardship within the community. Another key component to create the bond between the community and the environment will be to allow direct participation in conservation efforts, and DCI will provide these opportunities.


Proper species and habitat management can only be achieved through partnerships and good science. DCI will coordinate scientific expertise to effectively monitor struggling species and habitats. The most current and effective conservation techniques will be applied to preserve and protect species and habitats identified by DCI. To foster partnerships, DCI will work closely with government entities and private conservation groups to accomplish management goals.



As a former Conservation Chair and the only AAUS Scientific Dive Instructor in Utah, I have

had an opportunity to see some of the hurdles facing ecosystems in the great State of Utah

and our nation as a whole. Utah has a very robust dive community that is passionate about our underwater world.


With this realization, members of DCI identified a need to bring these two worlds together. Divers will bring a unique skill set to aid these environments. Providing conservation dive opportunities will give direct access to preserving and protecting these unique environments for generations to come.


Successful conservation projects are only successful when rooted in sound scientific method. We intend on utilizing our skills and training as scientific divers to bring proper underwater observation to the hurdles facing the state of Utah and the planet as a whole.



The primary focus of DCI is to connect our community to the natural environments we love. Because of this, DCI intends on creating opportunities for divers and non-divers alike!


Our conservation education opportunities include community outreach education, PADI specialty certifications, and scientific diver training. The range of education provides opportunities for both the diver simply interested in learning more about issues facing our underwater world to the conservationist looking to develop the skills necessary to be a professional underwater scientist.


Similar to our education offerings, DCI experiences range from participating in single day cleanups to week long coral restoration excursions with established coral restoration leaders. Additional experiences involve citizen science and formal data collection dives. All DCI

experiences revolve around our adopted projects in invasive species surveys, habitat

restoration, and coral restoration. As the organization grows, so will the scope of our

conservation projects.

Winter Scenery

Meet The Founder


Sean Hopewell

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Sean Hopewell established his love of the underwater world during a trip to Key Largo, Florida in 1996.
During this time, what was happening to the coral reef landscape was only just starting to be
understood. Many organizations emerged to help combat the issues facing coral reefs including the
Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) in Key Largo, Florida. A return trip to the Florida Keys in 2018 to
work with CRF cemented the need to protect our natural world in Sean’s mind.

After moving out West in 1999, Sean quickly came to admire the natural landscapes that Utah had to
offer. Sean hung up his shoes in 2015 as an emergency responder to renew his vow to preserve and
protect the natural world. While creating a new dive program for the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium,
he came to the realization that few opportunities existed for the dive community in the mountain West
to utilize their skills to conserve the watersheds critical for the natural landscape.

This realization led Sean to dedicate 100% of his time and energy to create these opportunities through
a new conservation organization: Deepwater Conservation Initiative.

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