|Journalists, Reef Check and Malibu staff in Puerto Galera, Philippines for EcoDiver Training|
|Highest biodiversity reefs in the world are also some of the most colorful.|
In June, seven U.S. journalists got their feet wet and more on a Reef Check expedition to the “Center of the Center” of global marine biodiversity – the Philippines. As the first step in a dynamic partnership with Malibu®, the journalists were trained in our standard EcoDiver monitoring protocol and then thrown in the deep end – literally on the reefs of Puerto Galera, about three hours south of Manila. Our guests were taught how to identify the Reef Check indicators for the IndoPacific – from giant clams to humphead wrasse and then donned mask, fins and snorkel – many for the first time.br />
Jumping into the water on any coral reef can be a mind-blowing experience but on the ultra-high diversity Philippine reefs – the WOW factor is immense. According to Flavorpill.com blogger Andrew Phillips, “the reef check adventure was one of the most exciting, challenging, and rewarding trips I’ve ever taken.” You can read about Andrew’s experiences in and out of the water at: http://flavorwire.com/26861/philippines.
The Malibu/Reef Check partnership launched July 1 with the kick off of the ultimate beach internship, where 10 eligible individuals will have a chance to monitor coral reef health in Thailand, the Maldives, or the Philippines. Applicants for the Malibu/Reef Check Internship will be invited to apply to get a PhD in SPF and help the environment along the way by spreading the word and enlisting others to raise awareness of coral reef health. They will be treated to a full Reef Check EcoDiver training, and those who pass their exams may participate in the largest citizen science project on earth — our annual global coral reef monitoring. Applications will be accepted from July 1, 2009, through August 31, 2009, and are available online at www.malibu-rum.com/reefcheck.
“The Malibu Beach Internship provides a perfect opportunity to make saving the world just another day at the beach,” says Lisa McCann, Senior Brand Manager for Malibu. “We know that beaches and reefs are inextricably linked, so the partnership with Reef Check was a natural fit; the organization truly embodies the ideal of engaging the world in a fun and positive way while making a concerted difference.”
“What we love about the Malibu/Reef Check Partnership is that it is very real – with on-the-ground training in reef monitoring – the core of the Reef Check program,” said Dr. Gregor Hodgson, Founder and Executive Director of Reef Check. “With Malibu’s help we can reach out to so many thousands of young people and engage them in marine conservation.”
The “immersion learning” approach seems to have worked well, as several journalists did not want to get out of the water. It was an “eye opening experience in the Philippines with Reef Check” commented Bryan Abrams, a free-lance journalist who writes for Playboy.com. “I will be getting scuba certified very soon and can’t wait to get in the water again.”
For those who would like to learn more about the “center of the center” of global marine biodiversity and see one of the biggest schools of sweetlips (a Reef Check indicator fish) in the world, sign up for the October 11 to 18 Reef Check expedition to Puerto Galera at: http://reefcheck.org/involved/Expeditions.php