It all started in the mid-1980's when Jerry, Bob, Bill and some of the other members of the Grateful Dead family started going to Hawaii for a vacation after the tours. The diving would give them a sense of relaxation and freedom, and it would transport them into an incredible new world underwater. Then in 1988, members of the Grateful Dead went from recreation to action. Through the Rex Foundation, they donated $10,000 to install 46 mooring buoys in areas around the Big Island where coral reefs were being damaged by the dragging anchors and chains of dive boats. Jerry then went on to testify before Hawaii's State Land Use Commission, encouraging them to better protect the reefs. The mooring buoy campaign was a great success, and the program has been used in other areas of Hawaii. Since 1994, Grateful Dead Merchandising has donated its royalties from the Grateful Diver merchandise to coral reef conservation work by Coral Forest and REEF RELIEF. Band Members Bob Weir - Bob has taken his love of the ocean and diving into the world of children's books. In 1992, he went to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia with his sister, Wendy Weir, to research their second book and audio cassette tape. "I couldn't believe the diversity of life along the reef," Bob said. "We dove some sites, like Snake Gully and Lizard Island, that were a long ways offshore. Then when we got back, I saw all these tourists coming to look at the reef. I couldn't help but think about the negative impact this was having on the environment and want to do something about it." This whole experience, including their stay in an Aboriginal community, resulted in the creation and publication of Baru Bay: Australia, and Bob and Wendy's participation in the founding of the non-profit organization, Coral Forest. Bob was a member of the Coral Forest Advisory Board and Wendy was its Executive Director. Both are now on the Board of Directors of REEF RELIEF with whom Coral Forest has joined forces to have a greater impact on coral reef conservation efforts. Bob and friendly octopus. Having been startled by the divers' approach, the octopus seeks the nearest source of protection - Bob's head. Notice the octopus' effective use of camouflage. It has taken on the color of Bob's hair. Kauai. (Photo: Victoria Jensen) Jerry Garcia first started diving in 1987 in Hawaii. As he later remarked in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, "Scuba diving satisfies the yearning of going to SPACE; you're in a place where there's no gravity. It kind of takes up the space that drugs left. Night diving is especially magical: the night shift comes out - all the creepers and crabs and lobsters and eels and manta rays tumbling in reverse, backward in loops. You dive every day for a month and it really changes your consciousness." Over a seven year period, Jerry Garcia made more than 500 dives, many along the Kona coast off the Big Island of Hawaii.
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