top of page
mountain lake.jpg

PROJECTS

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

quagga.jpg

QUAGGA MUSSEL TRACKING PROJECT

Quagga Mussel Tracking Project

Quagga mussel is an invasive species appearing throughout the waterways of the United States, and a species of concern for Utah. Currently, Quagga mussel only resides in Lake Powell. The DCI Quagga Mussel Tracking Project is intended to assist the State of Utah in mitigating the spread of the invasive mussel through a citizen science dive program, formal underwater surveys, and participating in a rapid response team.

 

Citizen Science

 

The DCI Quagga Mussel Citizen Science program is a first of its kind opportunity for the Utah dive community. Every spring, we host a training night for volunteer participants to make observations throughout the year. The training focuses on having participant divers properly identify quagga mussel, observation recording utilizing DCI record sheets, and submitting the observations to DCI. Program participants can then make observations whenever they are performing recreational dives throughout the State. Observations are reviewed by DCI staff and submitted to the State of Utah.

To participate, click on the Quagga Training button below, view the training video, and submit the Training Acknowledgement to deepwaterconservation@gmail.com.

 

Scientific Program

 

In addition to citizen science, DCI performs regular quagga mussel scientific dives with scientific divers. These formal surveys are used to track the spread of quagga mussel in Lake Powell, and any potential exposures to other watersheds in the State of Utah.

 

Rapid Response Team

In the event that quagga mussel is detected in a watershed outside of Lake Powell, our scientific dive team will work with the State of Utah to address the exposure and mitigate the spread into a new habitat.

Quagga Mussel
20140605_025049798_iOS.jpg

Many Utah watersheds are popular recreation sites for a myriad of activities including boating, fishing, and scuba diving to name a few. The traffic resulting from these activities can be hard on the natural habitats these watersheds encompass. The DCI Cleanup and Habitat Restoration program is working to ensure that the natural ecosystems continue to thrive for generations to come.

 

During the dive season, DCI organizes regular dive cleanups throughout the State and uses the PADI Dive Against Debris model. We focus on watersheds that see high levels of traffic, and work to remove litter from both the shoreline as well as underwater.

 

To help measure the impact of DCI cleanups, our scientific dive team performs regular surveys on the selected cleanup sites to gauge how much litter is removed from the site and how quickly litter is returning to the watershed.

 

Although DCI considers watershed cleanups a critical form of habitat restoration, we also perform targeted habitat restoration through rebuilding impacted habitats. Habitat restorations are performed in conjunction with our partnership with Sageland Collaborative and the Utah Department of Natural Resources.

DIVE CLEANUPS & HABITAT RESTORATION

Habitat Restoration
20180905_163153000_iOS.jpg

CORAL RESTORATION

Coral reefs are not only popular dive destinations but are critical for ocean health. The Florida Reef Tract found off the coast of Southern Florida has seen monumental decline in the last half century. The Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) works to address this decline, and DCI is proud to assist them in their mission.

 

DCI organizes regular coral restoration excursions with CRF in Key Largo, Florida. During the week, participants learn current coral restoration techniques used by the CRF, work in the CRF Tavernier Coral Nursery, and outplant captive-grown coral fragments back into the reef system. At the end of the week, divers receive a PADI Coral Restoration specialty certification only offered through CRF. Cost for the 2024 expedition is $1750 per participant.

In addition to our Key Largo excursion, we are now offering a coral restoration and cultural immersion excursion to Santa Marta, Colombia with the Remote Ecologist. With this excursion, you will participate in a grassroots coral restoration program in the Carribean and learn more about the culture and coffee trade in South America. Cost for 2024 expeditions to Santa Marta are $2950 per participant. 

To learn more about either expedition or make a reservation, click on the link below and complete the form. 

Coral Restoration
20180907_154334347_iOS.jpg

FUTURE PROJECTS

We Bring Diving and Conservation Together

Although DCI is proud of our current projects, we are continually looking for ways to impact the ecosystems we love.

 

We are in the process of creating additional endangered aquatic species surveys with our wonderful partners.

 

We also look to expand our impact reef ecosystems by creating a coral propagation program in Utah to foster endangered coral that will be reintroduced into critical reef systems.

 

Keep an eye out for more information on these programs as they progress!

20221018_142152011_iOS.jpg
bottom of page