July 3, 2019

A Big Welcome to the Newest EcoDivers and Trainers on the Big Island of Hawaii

Aloha! After almost a 10 year dormancy in Hawai'i, Reef Check is very happy to welcome the newest Trainers, as well as EcoDivers, on the Big Island.

Reef Check Foundation’s Dania Trespalacios and Jan Freiwald teamed up with Reef Check Malaysia’s Julian Hyde to conduct two Reef Check Trainings and to mentor the new teams as they begin to develop monitoring and education programs and to collaborate with local management authorities.

Four EcoDivers from the Coral Reef Education Institute successfully completed their Training of Trainers: Heather Howard, Paul Badgley, Tara Brooks and Nick Pacheco. Trained as EcoDivers by Gregor Hodgson in October of last year, these newly minted Trainers worked very hard to complete their required surveys in time for the Training, and had many good suggestions to improve future Trainings and Training Materials. Six divers from Aquatic Life Divers successfully completed the EcoDiver Course: Neil Forsberg, Bayli Payne, Manny Katz, Cody Roth, Zain Hicks and Olivia O’Neil. Both teams from the Big Island have big plans to contribute to Hawai'i’s coral reef monitoring and management efforts, and to play a significant role in diver education and community outreach. In particular, the Coral Reef Education Institute plans to collect data to support Hawai'i's 30 by 30 initiative, which is committed to effectively manage 30% of Hawai'i’s nearshore ocean waters by 2030.

Congratulations to our Reef Check teams in Hawai'i! Mahalo!