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-Maggie Allen, Reef Relief staff

After a week off for the 4th of July, Coral Camp is back in session and spots are filling up fast for the rest of the summer. We’ve had some crazy weather and experiences the last few weeks out at the reef and here in the center. Before our week long break, a couple tourists were standing on the coral reef, ignoring the fact that they were hurting millions of tiny polyps. After a few of us yelled at them to get off the coral, they only hunkered down and pretended not to hear us. One of our campers announced that was “very rude of them.” We wholeheartedly agreed.

We were finally graced with good weather this week and enjoyed three days of snorkeling at Ft. Zachary Taylor State Park, Western Sambo, and at Eastern Dry Rocks. At Western Sambo, we saw huge midnight and rainbow parrotfish, a variety of angelfish, spiny sea urchins, and a few barracuda. With perfect visibility and warm water, it was clear we were snorkeling in paradise. We got even luckier at Eastern Dry Rocks on Friday. A couple of the groups saw a 4-5 foot bull shark, a couple hawksbill sea turtles, more barracuda, and even larger parrotfish chomping at the coral.

We finished our successful week with thoughtful and intricate posters produced by the kids and an awesome video made by our very own summer staffer Morgan Knowles, which can be viewed on Reef Relief’s YouTube page!

Stayed tuned for more updates about the happenings of Coral Camp 2012.