Reef Check Central California Monitoring Program


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Posted by Chris Knight on March 08, 2005 at 20:54:41:

Reef Check Launches California Rocky Reef
Monitoring Program

Reef Check Executive Director Dr. Gregor Hodgson announced today the launch of a major citizen’s ocean monitoring initiative along California’s Central Coast. The Reef Check California program will train volunteer teams of local divers, fishermen, surfers and scientists to survey marine life on underwater rocky reefs and to develop an accurate picture of the health of California’s nearshore marine environment from Santa Barbara to Monterey. The new Reef Check California program seeks to bring together existing groups and to standardize volunteer efforts so that changes in ecological health can be tracked from year to year.

“The California marine environment has been beaten up over the past 25 years” said Dr. Hodgson. “The abalone, red sea urchins and several highly sought fish species such as the ling cod have been decimated. Just as it is important to monitor the quality of the water we swim in, it is equally important to check on the health of our living marine resources. Once we have an accurate picture of ecological health, we can then make better decisions about how to effectively manage these economically and ecologically important resources.”

A major goal of the program is to build up a network of citizens who support California marine conservation. Starting this summer, program scientists along the Central Coast will train and supervise teams of volunteers to carry out surveys of sub-tidal reefs. The teams will then submit the data to Reef Check. All data will be available to the public on a web-based Geographic Information System with charts, health rating and text analyses. This work is being made possible in part through a grant from the California Coastal and Marine Initiative of the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation.

Founded in 1996 by marine ecologist Dr. Gregor Hodgson, The Reef Check Foundation runs the world’s largest coral reef monitoring program and works with communities, governments and businesses to scientifically monitor, restore, and maintain coral reefs globally. The new California program will also provide opportunities for California divers to get involved in the coral reef monitoring around the globe. Reef Check has received prestigious national and international environmental awards for its work, and is the United Nations’ official community-based reef monitoring program.

Now in its ninth year of operation and active in over 80 countries and territories throughout the world, the Reef Check Foundation is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Pacific Palisades California.

For more information about Reef Check California, please contact us at (310) 230-2371 or email to chrisknight@reefcheck.org.



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