April 29, 2021

Long-time California Reef Checker Peter Ottersbach Retires from Diving

By Dan Abbott, Reef Check California Central Coast Manager

Peter Ottersbach

Peter Ottersbach has decided to retire from diving after 15 years of involvement with Reef Check. Peter was one of the original Reef Check California divers trained in 2006, the very first year of the program. A dedicated volunteer, Peter dove with the California program until 2018 when he had to stop due to medical issues.

He volunteered 114 days over 13 years, taking part in over a hundred surveys documenting the health of our kelp forest ecosystems. Peter won the Central Coast “Golden Slate” for taking part in the most surveys in 2007 and in 2015 was honored at Reef Check’s “Save the Reefs, Save the Oceans Gala” for his long term commitment to working to protect our ocean ecosystems.

Peter’s presence will be missed on surveys where his experience and warm personality was a consistent benefit to any survey team. Among other things, Peter was known for architect-like handwriting even while writing underwater in cold surgy conditions. He plans on staying involved in Reef Check and has already started to help out with data entry. He also wants to help “survey captain” shore sites and provide beach support!

All of us at Reef Check want to sincerely thank Peter for all of his great work over the many years; he truly helped shape Reef Check California to become what it is today and all of us are so appreciative that we had him as part of our team!