Rob Matteri, among the very first California Reef Checkers, sadly passed away on August 20. Reef Check’s Dan Abbott and Bill Field remember him here.
From Dan Abbott:
“Rob was one of the first people I met when I got involved in Reef Check and was always an inspiration to me. His dedication and cheer were infectious, and he will be severely missed. Rob and Bill Field (whose note is below) were among the very first California Reef Checkers and were instrumental in setting up our efforts in Sonoma county including conducting surveys of Grestle Cove every Spring pretty much by themselves (in two dives with 120’s!). They have taught many of the folks in this region Reef Check, including the 2019 Sonoma class that finished up just a few months ago. We miss you Rob.”
From Bill Field:
“Robert Matteri stopped his fight with Melanoma and moved on Tuesday, August 20th in the evening about the time he would have normally been finishing up teaching his Scuba class at Sonoma State University. He was the best man I’ve known, he was my dive buddy, and my best friend. Rob and I taught Reef Check together all the way through the training this year.
In 2005 Rob Matteri and I were invited by my son, Avrey Parsons-Field to become some of the first divers to be certified to dive for Reef Check California. We were mailed our flashcards and the RCCA Manual ‘1st edition’. A few days later we loaded a pickup with dive gear and departed northern California, heading for a dive boat out of Dana Point. On the way down, whoever the passenger was would flash a card of an indicator species to the driver. At that point the driver had to regain control of the truck and then name the species. Rob was trained by the big guns, Craig Shuman, Cyndi Dawson, Avrey, and more. After training we conducted some of the first Reef Check surveys north of San Francisco. In 2006 we helped each other become NAUI Instructors and RCCA instructors that same year. Rob loved to dive and more than that he loved teaching Scuba and Reef Check.
Rob believed in the mission and the two of us had an amazing amount of fun locking arms with all the RCCA family to make this clever idea take flight.”