Lois Hatcher has been fascinated by the Ocean since she was a little girl growing up in Victoria, B.C. She remembers her father constructed an underwater housing for an 8mm movie camera and her fascination grew with every 3 minute clip he shot. Her first “official” dive was in 1983 and she was instantly hooked.
Lois worked her way up to Instructor by 1988, then found herself traveling to work. In 1990 Lois took a job in Grand Cayman. She spent the next ten years there working as an Instructor-Videographer before leaving in 2000. During her time in Cayman Lois worked on a coral restoration project where the Maasdam cruise ship had run aground. This added to her interest in Ocean conservation and was something that stuck with her.
On subsequent trips to Cayman she was disturbed to see how the reefs were degrading. In 2012 she was introduced to Dr. Alex Brylske, who was soon to be teaching the first accredited Coral Restoration class at Florida Keys Community College. Without hesitation she signed up for it and other related classes,loaded up her van and drove the almost 3000 miles from Victoria to Key West to spend the next 8 months immersed in Coral Restoration studies. This included an internship with Ken Nedymyer at the Coral Restoration Foundation.
Once the classes were complete she sent out resumes to a handful of places that she had heard might be interested in starting coral nurseries. Ocean Frontiers on Grand Cayman’s East End was already involved in some coral studies and hired her with the intent of starting a coral nursery.
Things were going slowly until August 27th, 2014 when the Carnival Magic cruise ship dropped an anchor in an undesignated area damaging 11,500 square feet of coral. Since then Lois has been heading up the Carnival Magic restoration project and is excited as government has now approved Coral nurseries for Cayman. To date Lois has logged close to 10,000 dives and hopes to do another 10,000 helping to restore coral reefs in Cayman and around the world.