Coral reefs were once the epitome of the richness of life on Earth, but with water quality dropping and ocean temperatures rising, coral reefs are unfortunately struggling to survive.
Enter Force Blue, an unusual green organization with three key goals. Founded by US special forces veterans, it aims to help preserve and restore coral reefs, assist veterans in finding a new purpose after service, and to call the military members’ attention to environmental issues that they might otherwise ignore.
What Force Blue does is they take veterans who were trained by the military to dive and use this expertise in service of the seas. In 2017, team members joined groups from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the Coral Restoration Foundation on a rapid-response initiative in southern Florida and Puerto Rico to assess, triage, and provide emergency restoration of reefs damaged by hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Last year, team members and the organization moved to south Florida, where they’re helping to restore the coral reef tract. Now, Force Blue dive teams are working with other ocean conservation groups to stop the spread of an especially severe and deadly outbreak of stony coral tissue loss disease.
Obviously, the news of coral reefs struggling is no Bueno (although it’s sadly nothing new), but the initiative of giving veterans a new purpose through dining and saving coral reefs is definitely something we can get behind.