REEF CHECK July 2007 Newsletter

Hi everybody and welcome to Reef Check’s new monthly e-communication. Over the months, you’ve asked for more regular updates and news than we’ve been providing with our publication, “The Transect Line.” The result is this inaugural newsletter with links to all the great stuff we’re posting on our newly designed website, This means that in addition to receiving the bi-annual “Transect Line”, you’ll be receiving great stories about what’s happening with the world's reefs and what people like you are doing to help insure their future survival on a monthly basis.

Now for those of you who have noticed, this journal has no name yet. We thought that it would be great if the name came from one of you out there reading this because it is your publication. So as a result, we’re having a contest to find this newsletter the name that it deserves. Take your best shot and you may get your name on the website and newsletter and a shot at electronic communication history. We’ll also give you a matching set of Caribbean and Indo-Pacific Underwater Reef guides with a Reef Check hat to boot! So put on your thinking caps, have some fun and send your entries to  Also feel free to send along any comments you might have on this e-communication.

Thanks and we look forward to seeing you in the water!

Meet our New Staff

Mary Luna – Assistant Program Manager

Mary Luna is the Assistant Program Manager for Reef Check as well as the International Year of the Reef NGO Facilitator. Mary received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Minor in Geography in June 2007 from UCLA…

Colleen Wisniewski – Southern California Program Manager

Colleen Wisniewski, the Southern California Program Manager, joined Reef Check in 2007. Colleen received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Rutgers University. After graduation, she spent six years teaching marine biology field classes and scuba diving in the Florida Keys and on Catalina Island….

Claudette Dorsey – Los Angeles Volunteer Coordinator

I love to dive.
My first scuba certification was in 1978 as an undergraduate at UCLA. I was a diver for several research projects in California and the Sea of Cortez.I wrapped up a BA in biology, having taken every marine science course UCLA had to offer…
Reef Check Introduces Buddy Breathing Program
Free Air for Reef Check Divers
Top dive shops across California have agreed to provide free air to Reef Check divers as part of the Reef Check “Buddy Breathing” program. Divers who show their NAUI or PADI Reef Check EcoDiver specialty card will receive free air fills for Reef Check survey and monitoring work.
International Year of the Reef Update
Reef Check Serves as NGO coordinator for IYOR2008
For IYOR 2008, NOAA is working through the USCRTF to organize governmental activities, and Reef Check has been asked to serve as the non-government organization (NGO) coordinator. Our task is to reach out to as many NGOs as possible, including non-profit organizations, academic centers, and businesses, and get them involved in this effort.

“Her Deepness” Sylvia Earle Signs International Declaration of Reef Rights
The International Declaration of Reef Rights was signed by internationally renowned marine scientist and National Geographic “Explorer-in-Residence” Dr. Sylvia Earle. The International Declaration of Reef Rights was created to raise awareness about the coral reef crisis, and thousands of people from over 90 countries worldwide have signed the declaration and pledge. Dr. Earle signed the Declaration while attending the 2007 Clean Oceans Conference in Kauai as a keynote speaker.

Over 4000 have signed from 107 countries
Click here to sign the International Declaration of Reef Rights

Click here to find out what others around the world are saying about the International Declaration of Reef Rights
Reef Check Teams in Action
Training Fishermen in Loreto, Baja California
The Gulf of California, or Sea of Cortez, offers a great diversity of habitats including salt marshes, mangrove wetlands, eelgrass and algae beds, and rocky reefs along the coast and offshore islands. Loreto Bay Marine Park (LBMP), located in the Gulf, contains all of these wonders. The Park sits just off the coast of the town of Loreto, which is located in Baja California Sur; 220 miles north of the state capital, La Paz. Founded by Jesuit missionaries in 1697, it was the first town in the Baja California Peninsula…

Reef Check Guadeloupe Completes First Survey
Since 2002, marine scientists of ARVAM (
Agence pour la Recherche et la Valorisation Marines) and the engineering office PARETO, specializing in the marine environment, have developed a programme to survey coral reef health using the Reef Check protocol via the educational and environmental project of the Quiksilver Initiative…

Reef Check Egypt: Extreme low tide caused coral death at South Sinai's coast
Tidal events belong to the most predictable natural fluctuations in coral reef habitats. They determine intertidal zonation patterns and limit the vertical growth of corals, but are rarely reported to cause mass mortality among corals. Corals are reported to tolerate a certain time of aerial exposure while enhancing mucus production to prevent desiccation…

Reef Check Monitoring and Crown Of Thorns Starfish (COTs) Control in Palu Bay, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia
In April 2007, a proposal for Earth Day activities including COTs control combined with Reef Check data collection and the collection of signatures for the International Declaration of Reef Rights was accepted for small grant funding by Yayasan Reef Check Indonesia (YRCI), and at the end of the month the necessary SCUBA equipment also became available…
Mark Your Calendars

September 16: Reef Rescue 2007: Dinner and Reef Inhabitants Show
The Reef Check Foundation's Reef Rescue 2007 Dinner & Reef Inhabitants Show will be held at the Malibu West Beach Club. Dr. Sylvia Earle and Daryl Hannah are this year's honorees. Individual tickets and tables for this event are now available for purchase.

September 23: Reef Check Ocean Festival & Movie at the Bluffs: “Surf’s Up!”
Join Reef Check at Malibu's Bluffs Park for a special screening of Surf's Up! Prior to the movie, the Reef Check Ocean Festival will feature a number of family oriented and educational booths, as well as dance and entertainment from a variety of international acts. 

Pacific Underwater Guide with Slate & Pencil
Reef Check Hat