Larger than life, he dived to the end, with sheer pleasure:
Jerry personally documented the Florida Keys reefs for 70 years.
His incredible photos tell the entire story of the collapse of the reefs he loved.
No one else will ever document their sad decline so well and for so long.
Jerry and his wife Idaz were pioneers in public education to save reefs, creating a huge array of marine life publications under their Seahawk Press imprint. Her artwork, research, writing, and design skills perfected his talent behind the lens and at the presses, and innovated the first waterproof marine life ID cards. Often copied but never surpassed, these are still sold around the world and on Amazon at https://fishcards.com/. His son Michael now runs the family businesses, carrying on the legacy of excellence and innovation.
Jerry grew up swimming in the reefs of South Florida. In 1950 LIFE Magazine published the first underwater photographs showing the wonderful colors and forms of coral reef marine life, taken in the Great Barrier Reef by Fritz Goreau (Goro). Jerry was inspired to begin building his own homemade camera housings. Coral reef diving research pioneer Thomas F. Goreau encouraged him to systematically document the reefs he dived on, which he began in 1955.
Jerry loved to be in the water, but he was heartbroken by the continuous decline of coral reef health, diversity, and abundance, and outraged at the failure of government agencies to protect them from the sewage and climate change killing the corals. He felt strongly that efforts being made to “restore” Florida reefs were disastrous failures, massive planting of fragments that died due to poor water quality.
Jerry Greenberg’s family has deeply honored the Global Coral Reef Alliance by kindly asking that in lieu of flowers, people donate to GCRA in his honor.
GCRA will continue to work with Mike Greenberg to help them preserve Jerry’s irreplaceable photographic archive of a marvelous vanished world, and make it available for public education.
Our goal is to grow solar-powered Jerry Greenberg Memorial Biorock Coral Reef Arks to regenerate the reefs he loved most and protect Florida from rising sea level.