About Carrie Caignet

Carrie at DenaliProfessional References

“I have always been drawn to the water” explains Carrie Caignet when asked about her connection to maritime Florida and her rather unique professional experience.

“My first paying  job was at the historic Don CeSar Hotel on the island of Saint Pete Beach, Florida.  It was there, that my knack for program development and educational outreach took off.  I developed and conducted sunrise and sunset tours for visitors on the shores of Pass a Grille Beach, identifying wildlife, retelling regional history and cultivating an appreciation for nature and the sea in people from around the world.  Nature is the ideal classroom and provides a nutritive place for the mind. Being a steward for our coastal environments and conveying that passion to others is what I love to do.”

In 1988, Sea World Curator, Dan Blasko and Julie Onie-Wignall of the National Aquarium recruited Carrie to work at the one of the largest state-of-the-art dolphin habitats in the world as a member of the animal care team for the Mirage Dolphin Habitat (now known as the Siegfried and Roy Secret Garden). She worked with dolphins for almost a decade.  Carrie learned to apply operant conditioning and behavior modification as well as public educational outreach, she participated in groundbreaking research on echolocation and animal therapy interaction with autistic children and the developmentally disabled.  As part of a team of marine mammal behaviorists, she acquired hundreds of hours of diving experience and technical training.

When she returned to Florida, Carrie partnered with Dive Clearwatera charter operation based out of the Clearwater Beach Municipal Marina. She crewed aboard Plunger IV as well as the trawler, Plunger V, led diving tours, spearfishing expeditions and introduced hundreds of people to the Gulf of Mexico and SCUBA diving for the first time.  In addition to teaching SCUBA and chartering on the Gulf of Mexico, she has been involved in a number of other maritime projects including movie and television productions. Carrie has worked on the sets of feature films including “U-571″ (1999) and the “NAUI Worldwide Instructional Video” (2000), “Treasure Divers”, a television series (2007), “The Diver Alert Network Educational Video” (2009), “Spring Breakers” (2012) and “Dolphin Tale 2” (2014).  She has also worked on the small screen consulting for maritime themed productions seen on Telemundo, Discovery Channel, the History Channel and Animal Planet.

Carrie has worked with local news reporters, feature writers and professional photographers on special interests segments and has been in front of the camera as an authority on history under the sea.

She explains:

“Underwater environments are museums – a collection of highly specialized specimens and artifacts with an interrelation and direct relevance to each other presented in a manner that provides insight, enlightenment, engenders respect and appreciation. The history of humanity and the history of the world begin at the waterline and continue into the depths of our oceans and our psyche. There is no greater oceanarium, museum or institution of higher learning than our underwater environments.”

Since 1999, Carrie has also worked as a Consultant, Project Manager with a variety of organizations including:

  • Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
  • Canine Companions for Independence
  • D.A.N. (the Divers’ Alert Network)
  • EarthShare
  • Florida Folklore Society
  • Florida Keys History of Diving Museum
  • Florida Keys Shipwreck Museum
  • Florida Keys Community College
  • Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
  • Florida Maritime Heritage Association
  • Florida Maritime Museum
  • Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council: Coral Reef Advisory Panel 2013-2018
  • Lifelong Learning Center of the Florida Keys at Ocean Reef
  • Historic Tours of America
  • Mambo T.V. Production
  • Miami Waterways
  • Moretti Yachts
  • Moretti Distributing
  • National Association of Underwater Instructors Worldwide
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • New York Aquarium
  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
  • Poolmate Pictures, LLC
  • Professional Association of Dive Instructors
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Maritime Administration
  • Spanish Main Treasure Company
  • St. Petersburg Museum of History
  • S.S. American Victory Ship & Museum
  • Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary
  • Talbot Films |Talbot Productions
  • Tampa BayWatch
  • Tampa Bay Pilots Association
  • The Gulfcoast Center for Fishing
  • Totem Films, LLC

Contact Carrie at carrie@floridamaritime.org for availability and fee schedule.