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  Reef Check Successes in 2013
Thank you for your support!
Modelin Francoise lives in a shanty near a polluted waterway in Cape Haitian on the north coast of Haiti. Her father is a fisherman so she has always been around the sea − but, like most Haitians, she didn’t know how to swim. Last January, Modelin and 300 other college students applied to join our Reef Check EcoDiver class. After the first swimming lesson, she was rejected because she was making slow progress with swimming. Later she requested that we re-test her − and she promptly swam underwater the entire length of the pool! Modelin became a model EcoDiver student (left), and a good swimmer, snorkeler, EcoDiver and scuba diver. Last May, she scored the second highest on the EcoDiver test, and was selected to join the north coast expedition where she assisted with biological surveys (right).

Thanks to your help, Reef Check has now trained and certified over 30 Reef Check EcoDivers in Haiti − the first local citizen scientists with marine biology training in the country. These EcoDivers are now prepared to help monitor and manage a new Marine Protected Area network that we are proposing for the country, based on our surveys of over 1000 km of coral reef during the past three years.

This year we also launched a kids program to get younger children into the water to learn about ocean critters and to swim and snorkel. Over 60 kids have participated so far, including 30 earthquake orphans.

Reef Check has teams in over 90 countries and territories doing similar work around the world. With your help we can reverse the trend of coral damage, protect the remaining healthy reefs and rehabilitate those that have been damaged.

Here in California, we trained over 200 new volunteer divers and our teams tracked the health of rocky reef ecosystems at over 80 sites. We released the 136 page “Status of Rocky Reef Ecosystems in California” report covering our first six years of scientific monitoring. This report documented the initial positive results of the Marine Protected Area network in California as measured by our volunteer citizen scientists.

Many generous supporters like you came together this year with a shared sense of purpose and a common goal: to save our reefs and oceans. We could not be more thankful for your support or more proud of what we have accomplished together. We could not have done this important work without you!

Sadly, the threats facing our reefs and oceans continue and our work must go on. I hope I can count on you to make a year-end gift to help support our work both here in California and internationally.

Will you help?

Your gift today, either by making a donation or becoming a Premium member of the Reef Check Foundation, will help support our efforts in conservation, education, and research. It doesn’t cost a lot to make a real difference:
  • $25 covers a beach day and ‘intro to marine life’ snorkel for 2 children anywhere in the world.
  • $50 provides underwater field guides for 4 EcoDiver students in Haiti.
  • $100 covers one day’s boat use for one Reef Check California volunteer diver to complete a survey.
  • $250 covers the cost of a coral reef survey in the Reef Check country of your choice.
Now more than ever, we need your help. In 1998, the world suffered the first global coral bleaching event that killed 10% of the world’s coral reefs. This past year we have seen the destruction caused by storms in the US and the Philippines. As global warming and sea level rise continue, we will see more damage. In the coming year, we need
Haiti now has two teams of EcoDivers surveying reefs and promoting conservation.
your financial support to continue our important work to protect ocean health. Remember, for every dollar donated, it is multiplied many times by the work of thousands of volunteers in California and around the world. Let's empower more Modelins in more countries to help save our reefs.


Dr. Gregor Hodgson
Executive Director