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Florida Keys Celebrates World Oceans Day with Coral 'Plantapalooza'

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KEY LARGO (CBSMiami/FKNB) - In recognition of World Oceans Day, the Florida Keys-based Coral Restoration Foundation is staging its first-ever "Plantapalooza" Monday during which CRF staff, interns, board members and volunteers hope to plant at least 1,000 reef-building staghorn corals in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Up to 70 divers are sowing corals at six Upper Keys sites including Molasses Reef, Carysfort Reef, Grecian Rocks, Little Conch Reef, Snapper Ledge and Pickles Reef.

Volunteers with the Coral Restoration Foundation surface with staghorn coral clippings harvested from a nursery in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Monday, June 8, 2015, off Key Largo, Fla. About 70 CRF divers are endeavoring to harvest and plant at least 1,000 staghorn corals to help enhance six reefs off the upper Florida Keys. The project, dubbed Plantapalooza, is being staged in conjunction with World Oceans Day and if successful, will be CRF's most prolific single-day planting output. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY (Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)
Staff and volunteers with the Coral Restoration Foundation organize staghorn coral clippings harvested from a nursery in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Monday, June 8, 2015, off Key Largo, Fla. About 70 CRF divers are endeavoring to harvest and plant at least 1,000 staghorn corals to help enhance six reefs off the upper Florida Keys. The project, dubbed Plantapalooza, is being staged in conjunction with World Oceans Day and if successful, will be CRF's most prolific single-day planting output. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY (Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)
Volunteers with the Coral Restoration Foundation plant staghorn coral clippings on a reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Monday, June 8, 2015, off Key Largo, Fla. About 70 CRF divers are endeavoring to plant at least 1,000 staghorn corals to help enhance six reefs off the upper Florida Keys. The project, dubbed Plantapalooza, is being staged in conjunction with World Oceans Day and if successful, will be CRF's most prolific single-day planting output. (Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau)
Volunteers with the Coral Restoration Foundation swim to a planting site with staghorn coral clippings on a coral reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Monday, June 8, 2015, off Key Largo, Fla. About 70 CRF divers are endeavoring to plant at least 1,000 staghorn corals to help enhance six reefs off the upper Florida Keys. The project, dubbed Plantapalooza, is being staged in conjunction with World Oceans Day and if successful, will be CRF's most prolific single-day planting output. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY (Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)
A volunteer with the Coral Restoration Foundation passes a staghorn coral clipping harvested from a nursery in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Monday, June 8, 2015, off Key Largo, Fla. About 70 CRF divers are endeavoring to harvest and plant at least 1,000 staghorn corals to help enhance six reefs off the upper Florida Keys. The project, dubbed Plantapalooza, is being staged in conjunction with World Oceans Day and if successful, will be CRF's most prolific single-day planting output. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY (Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

"Plantapalooza" is aiming to raise awareness of World Oceans Day, celebrated internationally each year, and the importance of the restoration, preservation and conservation of the continental United States' only living coral barrier reef, located in the Florida Keys.

This year's WOD theme is "Healthy Ocean, Healthy Planet," a philosophy the nonprofit CRF fulfills through its unprecedented restoration efforts for Florida Keys coral reefs.

Since CRF's inception in 2000 has planted some 30,000 corals on upper and middle Keys reefs.

If successful, the 1,000 plantings planned for Monday would be the organization's most prolific output in a single day.

The event is being executed under a permit from the NOAA's Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.

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