Kami Hawks

Kami Hawks scuba diving

Association, Company, Affiliations: Ocean Strike Team

Location: Pensacola, FL

Your favorite quote: Far and away, the greatest threat to the ocean, and thus to ourselves, is ignorance. But we can do something about that.
~ Sylvia Earle

Your message or mission statement: I fell in love with the sport the first time I fell off of a dive boat on our honeymoon over 2 decades ago. I have enjoyed incredible dives in magical places: from the kelp forests of California, to the Barrier Reef in Belize, to my all time favorite on a live aboard on the Red Sea.
But what gets me the most excited in diving is what I’ve learned in the past five years: I can make a powerful impact in protecting our precious oceans through lionfish hunting and education.

Your latest endeavors and where they take place: My husband and daughter and I participated in the emerald coast open – our team brought 455 lionfish to the boat. We placed top ten in largest and smallest fish caught. It was an incredibly long couple of days starting at 4:30 am and ending well after 10 by the time we got home and prepped for the next day. 18 dives in two days, we were beat by the end! But it was so rewarding to be a part of an exciting event and a supportive and motivated community. All told the event took 24,699 lionfish out of our waters.

What efforts are you most proud of? Everywhere I go, my conversation flows to the ocean. With a checker at the hardware store, or my car mechanic, or the people standing around on the dock as I gear up for another dive. I want people to know and understand that what they do in day to day life and the decisions they make impact the ocean. My friends may tease and my neighbors may grow a little weary of the constant stream of lionfish statistics and recipes but knowledge is powerful. What I talk about outside the ocean has even more long-reaching than what I do in it. I am by trade and nature an educator; and as a diver, I simply can’t turn that off.

Anything else you’d like us to know? Diving with my family is my FAVORITE!

Kami Hawks and friends with huge lionfish catch of the day
Kami Hawks and Ryan Hawks holding lionfish caught

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