|The Transect Line – July 2009|
|Get a PhD in SPF By Becoming a Malibu Beach Intern!|
|Summer is the time to 'Get Your Island On'! As part of its partnership with Reef Check, Malibu® is offering the ultimate beach internship, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get your island on while giving back. Selected interns will be taken on a ten-day adventure and learning opportunity to explore the coast of Thailand, the Maldives or the Philippines in order to preserve and promote awareness of the country’s coral reef ecosystems. Eligible US citizens of legal drinking age (21 and over) who are passionate about ecosystem preservation may apply online through August 31st at www.malibu-rum.com/reefcheck. The 10 applicants who convey the most creativity, enthusiasm and character will be selected as finalists and will be sent on a 10-day assignment to a Malibu-sponsored eco-adventure with Reef Check! Please visit the website for more information.|
|Reef Check California Update|
| By Reef Check California Director of Science Cyndi Dawson
July brought to a close the scheduled 2009 public trainings. We successfully completed 9 trainings throughout the state and certified 95 new divers as Reef Check CA trained surveyors. All RCCA divers must undergo a yearly recertification prior to the start of each survey season. We held recertification trainings throughout the state in the early spring and recertified 71 divers for 2009. Since the inception of the program in 2006, Reef Check California has trained 400 divers to gather scientifically robust data on rocky reefs to help improve marine management in California. We have several academic partners that will complete trainings in the fall which will bring the number of active divers in 2009 to near 200. All the classes this year were full and many had waitlists. We look forward to providing more opportunities for interested divers to get trained in 2010 and will be posting training dates on our website by early fall.
With the army of divers we have trained, the number of surveys completed is really starting to add up. To date RCCA divers have surveyed 31 sites throughout the state stretching from Ft. Bragg to San Diego. We are hoping to see many of the recently trained divers out on surveys the next few months and are looking to hold a diver practice and mentoring event in each region during September to encourage the newly trained Reef Checkers to get out there and survey, so keep an eye out for details.
We will be making a big push to get the rest of our sites done over the next two months, which usually bring calm and clear water throughout the state. You can view these data in near real-time on our Nearshore Ecosystem Database (NED). Many of the 2009 site data are already up on the web!
|Reef Check Teams in Action|
|OceansWatch Signs Off on 1st MPA
The 2009 work season has successfully begun for two OceansWatch teams – one based in Vanuatu, led by Natalie Riddler on several host yachts; and another in the Solomon Islands and PNG, led by Chris Bone on Magic Roundabout. Natalie's team is starting to collect data for the Vanuatu Ministry of Fisheries and Reef Check, on their first host boat, Waka Taitea. Chris and the crew have also had a very productive week on Rennell Island at the very south of the Solomon Islands archipelago. Rennell is unusual among other islands in Melanesia, as it is populated by people of Polynesian origin.
| Reunion Alumni Complete Third Aruba Reef Check
By Reef Check EcoDiver Trainer James Rosborough
Alumni from the International School in Aruba completed a Reef Check survey as part of their reunion in June. Five divers ranging from graduating classes in 1967 to 1953 along with the current Science Teacher, participated in the survey on a reef they used to spear fish on as many as 55 years ago. They recall a forest of staghorn, elkhorn and brain coral, and so many fish they could spear two with one shot. The branching coral has disappeared due to disease and storms, but most of the residual star coral is alive and healthy. It is suspected that commercial fishes and lobsters are few due to the demand from the growing tourist industry. We were all happy to be back home in OUR waters and eager to keep track of the health of the reefs. This is the third reunion over 9 years that has completed surveys. We planted permanent markers to follow this reef over time and will be back again in three years.
|Pro Dive Conducts 1st Reef Check Survey
By Reef Check EcoDiver Trainer Brendal Davis
On June 27 Pro Dive, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, conducted its first annual Reef Check survey, becoming the first Reef Check Facility on the US East Coast to promote a hands-on research program.
|Reef Check BVI Featured in British Virgin Islands Yacht Guide
Reef Check BVI was featured as the cover story of the July 2009 issue of the British Virgin Islands Yacht Guide. A writer from the magazine joined Reef Check BVI coordinator Trish Baily and her team of divers as they completed their annual monitoring of Pelican Island.
Click here to read the story.
|Mark Your Calendars|
|Liveaboard EcoExpedition to Isla Natividad, Baja California
Rediscover the Kelp Forest while living the Experience of a Lifetime! Dates: October 29 – November 5, 2009 (8 days / 7 nights)
Departure point: H&M Landing, 2803 Emerson St. San Diego, CA 92106
Price per Reef Check California certified diver: $3000 USD
Price per non-RCCA certified passenger: $3200 USD
Take your diving to the next level during this scientific, cross-cultural liveaboard expedition! Dive and snorkel in one of the best preserved kelp forest ecosystems in the California Current, witness the Natividad's fishers' progressive management techniques, and invest in preserving Baja’s natural capital.
You can join this trip of a lifetime as a trained Reef Check California (RCCA) Diver or a guest. As an RCCA diver, you will dive your way down the Baja Peninsula to Isla Natividad, conducting scientific monitoring and helping Mexican governmental agencies, fishing cooperatives, international academics and NGOs collect key data on rocky reef sites. Superb diving abounds around Natividad; RCCA divers and guests will have plenty of time to enjoy recreational dives in the amazing kelp forests and take in some of the many exciting species at sea and ashore, including rays, lobster, sheephead, bottom dwelling sharks, sea bass, whitefish, yellowtail, the endangered black vented sheerwater and the cutest mouse you will ever see!
For more information, please contact Reef Check's Mexico Program Manager, Mary Luna or visit http://reefcheck.org/involved/ecoexpedition_isla_natividad_baja_california.php
EcoExpedition to Puerto Galera, Philippines
Visit the Center of the Center of Marine Biodiversity! Dates: October 11 – 18, 2009
Price: $999 USD
Coral reefs of the Philippine Islands exhibit some of the highest levels of marine biodiversity on earth. The entire archipelago defines the northern portion of the famed ‘Coral Triangle’. Over the past decades, however, destructive fishing, pollution, intense logging and poor management of resources have damaged many Philippine reefs.
You can help save Philippine reefs!
As part of this expedition you will be trained in the same techniques used by marine biologists and will collect baseline data to monitor the health of Philippine reefs in a new focus area – Puerto Galera. This information will help Reef Check Philippines to develop community awareness about the value and importance of coral reefs. Further, our data will be provided to the Philippines government and will be used for both national and global assessments. Over the years, many communities that have used Reef Check as a means to monitor their reefs have, in combination with their attention to the environment, seen improvements in the health of their reefs and abundance of fish.
For more information, visit http://reefcheck.org/involved/puerto_galera.php