The Transect Line – June 2008
Calling all photographers! Reef Check Launches International Photo Contest

How would you like to win a five-day liveaboard trip in the Maldives? In celebration of the International Year of the Reef 2008, Reef Check presents the International “What do reefs mean to you?” Photo Contest. The contest will highlight the numerous ways in which people value their local reefs. The goal is to persuade people, through appreciation of these images, to take actions that benefit coral reef and rocky reef ecosystems.

The contest officially opens on July 1 and you can submit your photos through August 31 in the following categories to win some fantastic prizes generously donated by Manthiri Liveaboard Diving, Oceanic, Promate, Body Glove and CWIC. Grand prizes include a five-day liveaboard on the Manthiri in the Maldives, an Oceanic GEO Personal Dive Computer/Wristwatch, and a Promate Mini Pressure with Depth Gauge Console.

Tropical Coral Reefs
People and the Reef
Creative Visions of Coral Reefs
Animal Behavior

California Rocky Reefs
Teams in Action
Indicator Organisms

Young Photographer – Tropical and California Reefs
Beauty of the Reef

In September, Reef Check members will get to vote for their favorite photos to determine the finalists. Prize winners will be chosen by our distinguished panel of judges, which includes well-known professional underwater photographers such as David Fleetham, Dan Gotshall, and Bonnie Pelnar.

Click here to submit your photos!

Reef Check California

Summer has begun to roll along and Reef Check California (RCCA) divers have been beating the heat by cranking out the surveys. As of the end of June, RCCA has completed 18 surveys!! RCCA also took part in some great education and outreach events, like the Long Beach Scuba Show, letting divers and others know about how RCCA is improving marine mangement in California.

The Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) process has arrived in Southern California and public open houses began this month, with the goal of establishing a network of Marine Protected Areas all along the California coast.

RCCA is staying informed about the process and will actively engage with the MLPA Science Advisory Team and Stakeholder Group to provide them with data that will better inform their decisions about the placement of Marine Protected Areas in the Southern California Bight. You can find more details on the MLPA meetings in Southern California here. Three more open houses will be held the second week of July in the San Diego region, check them out!

Check out these links below to get more details on RCCA Team Members in action:
Nor/Cen Cal- 6/14/08 Saturday – Coral St. Survey- SUCCESS!!
Nor/Cen Cal- 6/21/08 Saturday- Cypress Sea Survey SUCCESS!!!
SD: Broomtail Reef Sat 6/14: Well Done!!!
LA: Hawthorne Reef Complete

International Year of the Reef

IYOR Reports From Around the Globe

Join people around the world in celebrating reefs! Organize an IYOR 2008 event, or join one that is already planned! For more information, please visit and We have updates from five countries this month, click the Read More button for the full stories!

With the wonderful support of the OneSea Organization and Gianluca Lamberti, we have been able to reach the People's Republic of China with the reef conservation message! On June 24, 2008, 200 students gathered to sing and record the Year of the Reef Song and celebrate IYOR… more

Costa Rica
The beach communities surrounding Playas del Coco collaborated to celebrate World Ocean Day on June 8. A community mural was created by marine artist Carlos Hiller, with the help of more than 70 local children in collaboration with local nonprofit children’s association Proyecto de Luz… more

The coral reefs of the Red Sea are among the most beautiful and pristine on the entire planet. Many Italian scuba divers love to spend their holidays in this wonderful paradise. For this reason, the scientists of Reef Check Italy strongly emphasize the importance of safeguarding this heritage, and recently created an educational video about the Red Sea… more

Taiwan – SanYuan A-Mei Aboriginal Tribe
Reef Check Taiwan celebrated IYOR on Green Island. Their main themes were aboriginal culture and reef conservation. During this event, divers conducted a Reef Check survey, working with and discussing ideas about marine conservation with aboriginals from the SanYuan A-Mei Tribe…. more

United States
The 11th International Coral Reef Symposium is just around the corner. This is a great opportunity to learn the latest on coral reef research and interact with like-minded individuals. The symposium will take place at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County (Florida) Convention Center, July 7-11, 2008. Also, creators of the Year of the Reef Song, Thin Ice, held their annual concert at Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach on June 22nd…

Have you signed the International Declaration of Reef Rights?
Join the 11,040 ocean lovers from 136 countries who already have!

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

Dramatic Reef Recovery in the Maldives Since 1998 Bleaching Event

Reef Check Maldives is being run in collaboration with the UK-based Marine Conservation Society and world-renowned liveaboard operator Maldives Scuba Tours. Surveys are carried out twice a year at one of four permanent monitoring stations first assessed in 2005 in order to record damage from the December 2004 tsunami. The 12-day survey trips, of which at least two days are dedicated to Reef Check surveying, typically comprise 30 dives whilst visiting far flung isolated sites over the vast atoll nation.

This June, the surveys recorded live coral cover of 67% from one spectacular site ‘Dega Giri’, which appears to have totally recovered from the catastrophic mass-bleaching event of 1998. Other sites surveyed appear to be well on their way to recovery with over 35% coral cover for many shallow reefs in the region. Reef Check Executive Director Dr. Gregor Hodgson joined the team on the vessel before attending a regional conference on Marine Protected Areas, and was also impressed at the apparent good health of the reefs.

The next two dedicated Reef Check trips in 2009 will be from January 25 – February 6; and June 13 – 26. To register for the next trip, visit Maldives Scuba Tours or contact Dr. Jean-Luc Solandt, Maldives Reef Check coordinator.

Coral Reefs in Pakistan? ICRAN/IUCN South Asia MCPA Managers Training Course June 2008

Over 30 Marine and Coastal Protected Area (MCPA) managers, dive shop owners, scientists and government officials from six South Asian countries gathered in beautiful Male, Maldives for a training course June 4-6. The purpose of the course was to introduce and refine a draft Toolkit for MCPA managers for the region. Reef Check Director, Dr. Gregor Hodgson was invited to make a presentation on how to set up a national or local coral reef monitoring network. His report from the meeting follows:

One of the highlights of the MCPA training course was hearing about and seeing photos and videos of coral reefs in some unusual places including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Lakshadweep, an island group off of India. It is always encouraging and uplifting to find dedicated individuals from all over the world who care as much as we do about coral reef conservation. Each country faces similar and some unique challenges in finding a sustainable mechanism to maintain healthy reefs and meet the socioeconomic needs of local people…

Kona Classic Participants Celebrate International Year of the Reef!

The Kona Classic photo contest is an annual event that gives underwater photographers and videographers the unique opportunity to dive, shoot and learn from some of the world’s most famous underwater photographers in an atmosphere where reef conservation and education are strongly embraced. Underwater highlights of the event included five days of diving off the beautiful Kona Coast, intimate encounters in the blue with pilot whales and oceanic white tip sharks, and a surreal night dive graced with twelve feeding manta rays. This year the event was dedicated to the memory of Jim Watt, an astounding photographer, inspiration, and friend to the ocean.

In an effort to raise participants' awareness of the coral reef crisis and emphasize the importance of reef stewardship and conservation among the dive community, Reef Check Hawai`i sponsored two photo categories at this year’s Kona Classic held May 24th – 31st.

Reef Check Survey and Training at “Club Magic Life Kalawy Imperial”

Reef Check Germany e.V. was commissioned by Magic Life to do a study on the health status of their house reef at Kalawy Bay, 30km south of Safaga, Egypt, and to give recommendations for sustainable use. The surveys were carried out by a team from the Red Sea Environmental Centre in March 2008, shortly after the opening of the hotel. The team consisted of marine biologists Christian Alter, Nina Milton, Miriam Reininger, Victoria von Mach and Bob Molenkamp. In addition to the Reef Check survey, the team observed the coral diversity and carried out a quantitative analysis of fish and mollusk species. During the study, six dive instructors from Magic Divers were trained as part of Reef Check’s EcoAction Program to become certified Reef Check Trainers. It was great to see how motivated the staff were, given that all Reef Check activities were voluntary and carried out in their spare time. The great interest, not only from the dive instructors but also their guests and divers, made it a terrific success. Thanks again! With the support of the newly trained EcoDiver Trainers, regular Reef Check surveys will help track reef health at the house reef of Magic Life Kalawy. Click here to read the full report.

California Girl Donates Proceeds from Swim-a-thon
There are many ways to support Reef Check: diving, donating, or even hosting a swim-a-thon! Michelle Engler of Lompoc, California, hosted just such an event on May 17th at her local high school pool. She created a variety of events including a relay, a bellyflop contest, a treasure hunt, and a “capture the watermelon” contest. A snack bar featuring baked goods and fresh fruit kept all the participants race-ready, and helped bring in some more funds! Forty people participated in this creative fundraiser, and $130 was raised and donated to Reef Check. Thanks to Michelle and all her friends for their support!
Mark Your Calendars
Ultimate Diver Challenge in Cozumel: August 2-9, 2008

Are you “The Ultimate Diver”…Do you want to become a better diver? Take the Challenge! You and your dive buddy will enjoy the thrill of competing in underwater challenges, puzzles, mazes and more using your diving skills, knowledge and experience. Reef Check and the Ultimate Diver Challenge invite teams of divers to buddy up and join us in a dive event with a chance to compete to earn the sole title of “The Ultimate Diver”. Experience a vacation in beautiful Cozumel, Mexico, while becoming a better diver, and enjoy the opportunity to win over $13,000 in prizes and products.

The competition will feature underwater challenges designed to test the diver’s ability to navigate, search, rescue, and recover using all the skills necessary to be a safe diver. Butch Hendrick and Andrea Zaferes of Team Life Guard Systems volunteered their time to create the challenges.

Reef Rescue 2008 at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific:
November 15, 2008

Make plans to join the Reef Check Foundation at our annual Reef Rescue Gala! This exciting event will take place at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach on Saturday, November 15 and will feature celebrities, a live scuba exhibition, hula dancers, and cuisine from reef nations around the world. This year, we have the distinct privilege of honoring an individual whose deep commitment to ocean conservation is extraordinary: Greg MacGillivray of MacGillivray Freeman Films will receive the 2008 Spirit of the Reef Award for documenting the beauty and fragility of the reefs and oceans in IMAX splendor in films such as Coral Reef Adventure. Besides having over 40 large format films to his credit, Greg is also known to surfers for creating the surfing classic, “Five Summer Stories.”

We are currently seeking sponsorships and items for our live and silent auction. Please contact if you are interested in partcipating.

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