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Our History

Special Events & Projects

Undersea Habitats


Past Education Programs


MRDF was an early tester for rebreathers



Scott Carpenter Man In The Sea Week, 1995

In 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated, helping to launch the environmental movement. That same year, Marine Resources Development Foundation was established. Even before MRDF came into existence, its founder and President, Ian G. Koblick, pioneered projects that enhanced our understanding of the ocean.

From underwater habitats to educational programs to special events highlighting our ocean's resources, MRDF's history spans nearly 50 years of technology, science advancement, and educationVirgin Islands Program.

In the early years, MRDF worked closed with the governments of the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico in its formative years, the early 1970s. It helped these islands establish ocean policies, set up marine training programs, operate undersea labs, improve fisheries techniques, test new diving equipment, initiate environmental management strategies, and develop marine archeological and commercial diving techniques. The underwater technology and hardware used in these projects was designed and developed by MRDF, contributing to tools available for undersea exploration. When the Foundation moved to Ft Lauderdale, Florida, in 1976, it became involved with the US Department of Commerce on the creation of a national ocean program.

In the mid 1980's, MRDF turned its sights on Key Largo and relocated to its current campus. The MarineLab Undersea Laboratory was emplaced and hosted its first Aquanauts in 1984, and in 1985 the first MarineLab Environmental Education snorkel program was held. In the subsequent years, MRDF briefly expanded its environmental education programs to include freshwater ecology and added a technology program called the Scott Carpenter Man In The Sea Program. Currently, MRDF is focused on its MarineLab education programs and seeking to improve and expand its facility.