Veterans embark on new mission restoring reefs in Puerto Rico

Story by Spc. Samuel Keenan
By Defense Visual Information Distribution Service

In the Caribbean, coastal communities rely on the natural barrier of coral reefs to protect themselves from the ever-growing threat of rising sea levels and fiercer storms. However, the living underwater citadels of coral are waning. The microscopic creatures that make up the reefs are dying faster than they can reproduce, leaving gaps in the coastal defenses.To fight against this relentless assault, a new veteran’s organization has emerged.

Force Blue, a group of military-trained combat divers, has been working non-stop since Hurricane Irma and Maria to plug the hole in coral populations.

“We take guys who are already trained divers, the best divers in the world. We give them a mission again,” said Jim Ritterhoff, the executive director of Force Blue.

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