The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary has welcomed Key Colony Beach's A Deep Blue Dive as the newest participant in the sanctuary's Blue Star education and conservation program. Launched in 2009, Blue Star salutes charter companies that help protect the Florida Keys coral reef ecosystem by promoting responsible snorkeling and diving practices, and by educating their patrons on the role humans play in reef health. Blue Star operators are required to attend training annually on issues affecting coral reefs, sanctuary regulations and coral reef etiquette. In turn, Blue Star operators educate their customers by incorporating the information into certification classes and dive briefings. They also must offer conservation-related dive courses and participate in activities such as fish counts and reef clean-ups.