It is hard to do marine science without getting in the water at some point and this generally means diving or snorkelling. Here we provide most all of the information you will need to dive or snorkel during your stay at KML. For divers in particular, please read the information carefully and be sure to complete all of our requirements in full before you arrive at the lab. Make sure you contact our Dive Saftey Officer (DSO), Bill Ferrell, before planning your trip and with any questions you may have about diving or snorkelling during your stay at KML. Remember: All forms MUST be received at least 14 business days prior to your expedition for approval. We wish you a wonderful time under the water in the Florida Keys!.
Diving Lower Pic
Above: Scientific divers checking coral recruitment tiles at Coral Gardens site.

DIVERS - READ THIS CAREFULLY: For any dive-related activity at the Keys Marine Lab, all divers must dive under the auspices of an American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) Organization Member's Scientific Diving program and be approved to dive with KML through the University of South Florida/Florida Institute of Oceanography (USF/FIO) Scientific Diving Safety Office (DSO). Divers must have their program’s DSO submit current Letter’s of Reciprocity (LOR), Release & Waiver of Liability form, and proof of medical insurance (DAN, workerman's comp, etc.) for each diver wishing to participate on the mission, as well as a completed Dive Plan. A new LOR for each diver, as well as a new Dive Plan, must be submitted prior to each dive mission at KML. The Release & Waiver of Liability is good for one calendar year. Please review the Diving Policy at KML and the Standards for Scientific Diving before your visit. All forms must be received at least 14 business days prior to the expedition for approval.


AAUS Logo
KML maintains an air compressor and 30 SCUBA tanks which are available for use by approved AAUS divers. KML staff will also provide air fills for approved AAUS divers with their own tanks (tanks must show current VIP & Hydro). Nitrox fills are not available at KML, but can be rented from many nearby dive shops. KML's staff of experienced scientific divers is available for those divers needing a dive partner, as well as for specimen collections. Please inquire in advance of your visit if a diving partner will be needed so arrangements can be made to accommodate you.
Snorkelling Pic
Above: The NSU Invertebrates class checking out the residents of the hardbottom habitat on the oceanside of Long Key.

KML has a limited supply of snorkeling gear for visitors including masks, fins, snorkels, wetsuits, and weights. We provide two gear wash-down areas with large freshwater tanks and ample racks and hangers to allow gear to be washed and hung to dry in the shade adjacent to the docks.

Please be aware that all forms of ocean recreation activities, including but not limited to snorkeling (free diving) and boating have inherent risks and dangers associated with them. Be sure that you adhere to your home instiution policies and can provide necessary liability documentation upon request.
We require all Principal Investigators and Group Leaders carefully review and sign the KML Snorkeling (Free diving) and Boating Understanding and submit it, along with their FURF, prior to arrival and participation in activities. Prior to any snorkeling activities at KML (from vessels or shoreline), all visitors must sign and submit the Release & Waiver of Liability Form.


Washdown Pic 1
The KML Gear Wash-down and drying areas are right next to the marina dock and the Wet Lab Pavilion.
Washdown Pic 2


KML staff assisting FWC research divers on the first assessment of the USS Hoyt Vandenburg (photo: K Mille)



KML staff support diver assisting with monitoring data-logging equipment at Tennessee Light tower.



KML staff support diver assisting researcher with sampling Montastrea annularis at Cheeca Rocks.



One of our visiting students snorkeling at Cheeca Rocks.