Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Journey South

In October of 2017 I made my first trip to the Florida Keys as a member of the CMR team. Although I was not selected to dive on this trip I was able to join a group of volunteers organized by Dr. Childress to help out our friends and colleagues impacted by hurricane Irma. The team was able to organize a donation drive and pack a van full of supplies to take down to the Keys. The devastation inflicted by Irma was jarring even a month after the event. Appliances lined one side of the road: stoves, washing machines, dryers, ovens, and refrigerators. Mountains of wood and concrete debris ten meters tall and dozens long lined the other. Fortunately, we were able to offer what help we could to the researchers at the Keys Marine Laboratory. The volunteers scrubbed tanks, shoveled gravel, picked up trash, vacuumed pumps, collected specimens, and helped paint the house of Dr. Rod Bertelsen, a friend of the team. On our last day staying in the keys we all got to enjoy snorkeling and diving on a few reefs and spending time with the great people at KML. I hope to return to the Keys and to KML as much as possible and seek to hold myself accountable for remembering the residents of the Keys and their struggle which is far from over.

1 comment:

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