So what are kids doing now that school is out?
Some are learning how to identify different corals and marine animals at Reef Relief's Coral Camp.
"I had no idea you couldn't touch corals before Coral Camp," said 9-year-old Logan Kirchner. "The bacteria we have on our hands could kill the whole colony."
The camp, 631 Greene St., offers week-long camps for children 6-12. Costs are $215 per child per week or $370 for two or more weeks. The non-profit focuses on educating on marine biology in a fun and engaging way.
"I started the organization five years ago to create more opportunities for kids in the summertime because I have a daughter of my own," said program director Millard McCleary. "This next generation of children is going to be part of cleaning up the mess we made."
The camp teaches youth through hands-on activities in conjunction with a classroom. They take field trips to Fort Zachary Taylor and the Key West Aquarium and spend time snorkeling the reefs.
"I loved petting the stingrays and feeding them at the aquarium," Kirchner said.
He also spoke about how he feels differently now about the water than he did before signing up.
"I definitely feel closer with nature," he said. "I was scared of jellyfish and once I learned about them and the reef I wasn't scared anymore."
Samantha Fisher, 12, was encouraged to attend the camp by her teacher so she could improve how she was doing in Marine Science class.
"I definitely have improved," said Fisher. "I would recommend this camp to anyone."
Leader Nicole McIntyre commented on how the classroom environment differs from school because field trips reflect material learned and make students more intrigued and attentive.
Reef Relief is focused on the importance of living reef ecosystems, implementing strategies for marine protected areas, and supporting ecotourism.
Aside from the summer camp, the group makes efforts to improve water quality for people, fish and all wildlife of Florida's coral reef ecosystems.
"In the last two years, we have cleaned up 20,000 pounds of debris," said McCleary. "We just cleaned up 500 pounds in Little Hamaca City Park with garbage bags."
McIntyre also assisted with the clean-up and was blown away by how much garbage was accumulated.
"I was surprised by the amount of cans, bottles and especially socks," she said.
For more information about the camp, visit reefrelief.org.
Alex Press is an intern with The Citizen and a recent graduate of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.