December 19, 2017

2017 Year In Review

Help from Reef Check supporters this year allowed us to achieve our 2017 goals in education, research and conservation. We are very grateful to those who contributed to our successes in 2017.

Tropical Program Highlights
♦ Our surveys by citizen-scientists in over 50 countries show that there is light at the end of the tunnel for the 3rd global bleaching event – it is finally coming to an end.

♦ Our Caribbean teams are now surveying the severe reef damage caused by this season's two huge hurricanes – this will have implications for future coastal erosion and current food supply.

♦ We certified 496 new EcoDivers in 22 countries around the world.

♦ EcoExpeditions were conducted in the Bahamas, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Maldives, Oman, and Thailand.

♦ New Reef Check (RC) organizations were established in Brunei, Colombia, the Maldives, Oman, and the Mediterranean.

♦ We designed and led a training program for new ocean conservation leaders in Shenzhen, China.

♦ The Government of the Dominican Republic (DR) awarded management of La Caleta Marine Park to RC DR, and the RC DR Director Dr. Ruben Torres won the global CORAL prize for coral reef conservation.

♦ RC Thailand Coordinator Dr. Suchana “Apple” Chavanich was awarded the “N.K. Panikkar Medal” from the UNESCO-Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

♦ We designed a management plan for the first marine park in the south of Haiti.

California Program Highlights
♦ We surveyed over 100 sites inside and outside of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) statewide.

♦ We added new sites around Catalina Island, in Humboldt and Del Norte counties.

♦ We started a statewide climate change research project with academic partners to monitor ocean acidification, hypoxia and water temperature in California's kelp forests.

♦ RC California launched the EMBARC on-board marine biology education program for 500 middle school students in Marina del Rey.

♦ Our results were used to help describe the status of northern California's marine reserves and helped the Fish and Game Commission to better protect declining abalone populations there.

♦ Over 300 volunteer citizen scientists were trained and certified for California.

Reef Check Goals for 2018
♦ Promote coral reef outreach for the 3rd International Year of the Reef in 2018;

♦ Use our finfish data to help manage low-data fish stocks;

♦ Expand the EMBARC education program to reach 1000 middle and high school students in our community;

♦ Release a “Report Card” on the status of reef ecosystems in California and internationally;

♦ Integrate kelp forest monitoring across the California-Mexico border.

Please help us to continue Reef Check's global efforts to educate young people and to conserve what we love. Your generous contributions make what we do possible. Please consider ending 2017 with a tax-deductible contribution for your favorite reefs at: