Many divers know that coral reefs are important to our ocean ecosystem. But do you know why? Take a deep dive into coral with us during the Coral Reef Ecology class. This PADI specialty certification is only offered at Pura Vida Divers.

Discover the three main types of coral reefs. Find out where you can dive with all 3, and which type you find off the coast of Florida. 

Learn about the skeletal and structural differences between hard and soft corals. Dive into coral biology, and understand their anatomy and how they reproduce. 

Understand the symbiotic relationships between corals and other reef dwelling animals. Finally, learn how to identify different types of coral, including some species you may never have heard of, like Lettuce, Finger, and Cactus corals.

Coral Reef Ecology - Diver monitors coral reef


The Coral Reef Ecology course begins with a half-day classroom session. The class is Instructor led, so students do not need to complete any study in advance.

Next, students will join their Instructor for a series of dives on 2-tank charters. The Coral Reef Ecology class includes 4 total offshore dives, which take place over 2 dive charters. Since coral reefs are found on both shallow (40′ – 60′) and deep (70′ – 90′) reefs, charters may take place at either depth. Please note that divers must hold a PADI Advanced Open Water (or higher) and Enriched Air Nitrox certification, or other agency equivalent, to participate in deep dive charters.

To get the most out of the experience, we recommend students have good buoyancy control. To learn more about the marine animals that rely on coral reefs for habitat, pair your Coral Reef Ecology class with a PADI Fish ID specialty course.



In additional to all standard scuba diving equipment, students should arrive prepared with a slate and pencil. A light and small camera are also recommended.

Want to learn even more about corals? Contact your Instructor for book recommendations to continue your learning.

Ready to dive in to understanding coral reef ecology? Contact us to learn more or sign up for an upcoming course: (561) 840-8750 or