Reef Check Foundation signs Memorandum of Understanding with the California Department of Fish and Game
LOS ANGELES – The world’s largest volunteer reef monitoring and conservation organization, Reef Check Foundation, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG). This MOU formalizes the collaboration between Reef Check and DFG to achieve the following goals:
- Develop a long-term statewide community-based subtidal monitoring network
- Design, develop, and implement a user-friendly web-based GIS application for entering and querying marine subtidal data
- Maintain a collaborative and cooperative relationship for the effective collection and dissemination of data
The Reef Check California program was launched in 2006 to educate, train, and engage ocean users in the collection of scientifically sound data describing California’s nearshore rocky reef ecosystems to help inform management decisions and create an informed constituency supportive of science-based management. These goals mesh extremely well with the science and outreach needs of DFG. “This is a major step forward for science-based management of California’s marine resources” said Gregor Hodgson, Reef Check’s Executive Director. “We are extremely pleased that the measures we have taken to ensure high quality scientific data have been recognized and approved by the Department.” Initially focused on the central coast, Reef Check’s California Program is expanding to include the entire California coast in 2007. Stakeholders from diverse backgrounds including academia, business, government, and commercial and recreational fishing are working side-by-side to collect critically needed baseline information describing California’s nearshore marine resources.
Founded in 1997, the Reef Check Foundation (a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization), was established to reverse the coral reef crisis and promote ocean conservation on a global scale. Reef Check programs provide ecologically sound and economically sustainable solutions for local businesses and communities, and thousands of volunteers participate in its programs in over 80 countries.