September 21, 2015

DiveBar’s pilot ROOT project brought together disabled veterans, DiveBar attorneys and marine scientists to support NSU’s Coral Nursery Initiative

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – In late June, DiveBar’s pilot ROOT project culminated under the sea with some remarkably heroic scuba divers—military veterans with service-related disabilities. ROOT—Restoring Our Oceans Together—pairs up specially-trained divers with wounded military veterans, some of whom are paraplegics or who have had limbs amputated in combat. The project, which is a collaboration between DiveBar, Diveheart and Nova Southeastern University’s Coral Nursery Initiative (NSU CNI), is designed to enhance the lives of veterans with disabilities through scuba and to give them a new mission—reef conservation.

Preparation for the June ROOT dive began months ago with specialized training. Throughout spring, DiveBar lawyers trained with Diveheart to become certified adaptive dive buddies. Because the disabled veterans may require some assistance, the adaptive dive buddies were specially trained to address any of the veterans’ special needs. On June 24, the teams embarked on a two-dive trip. On the first dive they transplanted corals and performed maintenance at the offshore nursery belonging to NSU’s Coral Nursery Initiative. Afterwards, the dive teams visited DiveBar Reef: a dive site where DiveBar lawyers and NSU’s scientists outplanted approximately 1500 staghorn corals over the past two years. …

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