Shana Phelan, owner/operator of Pura Vida Divers in Riviera Beach, holds degrees in both Marine Biology and Environmental Science from the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and a Masters Degree in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University. Shana’s passion for protecting marine life extends far beyond diving. She served as a Marine Biologist and Researcher at the Loggerhead Marine Life Center, studying endangered and threatened sea turtles, including the elusive Leatherback. In 2002, Shana was interviewed by The Discovery Channel in regards to her research, and in 2005 she worked with WIDECAST to create a Sea Turtle Trauma Response Field Guide, which is now used throughout the Caribbean.
Currently, Shana is the Administrator of the Palm Beach County Diving Association. As part of her efforts to promote marine conservation, Shana volunteers as the Diving Vice Chair for the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative, and previously served as an appointee to Palm Beach County’s Artificial Reef and Environmental Enhancement Committee. In 2022, Shana was awarded the Marine Conservationist of the Year by the Florida Wildlife Federation and the November Seiko Sea Hero of the month for her efforts in Goliath Grouper conservation.
Growing to more than 8ft and 800lbs, the Goliath Grouper is the largest grouper species in the Atlantic ocean. Historically overfished, the Goliath Grouper fishery was closed for harvest in 1990 in an effort to let stock levels rebuild. For more than a decade, Shana and other diving community members have worked to keep the FWC from reopening the Goliath Grouper fishery to harvest. Tune in to learn more about this ocean giant, its history and management in Florida waters, where conservation efforts are today, and how you can be involved.