Sea Hero: MIKE GOLDBERG
Scuba Diving|June 2020
Proving that putting the ocean first can be good for reefs and the industry

YEAR CERTIFIED

1992

AGE WHEN CERTIFIED

28

CERT LEVEL

Master Scuba Diver Trainer

WORDS TO LIVE BY

“Knowing is the key to caring; with caring there is hope that people will be motivated to take action. They can’t care if they are unaware.” —Dr. Sylvia Earle

Thirty years ago, Mike Goldberg remembers Florida Keys brain coral the size of a VW Beetle, and fields of staghorn and elkhorn coral that went on forever. The owner of Key Dives in Islamorada knows those days are gone, but instead of giving up, he decided to do something about it.

“I felt it was necessary to focus our energy on conservation, not only for the benefit of our business but for the benefit of all divers as well as all who call the Keys home,” Goldberg explains.

Four years later, his shop donates 2 percent of gross receipts to conservation orgs (a total of just under $20,000 last year); has removed more than 5 tons of marine debris from local reefs in just the past 18 months; made 5,000 reusable grocery bags and gave them to Islamorada residents; hosts an annual wetsuit recycling program for Upper Keys dive shops and residents; and runs trips every month for the Coral Restoration Foundation. And that’s just the beginning.

Q: What persuaded you to change your business model?

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