Reef Check Expands into Washington State

Kelp forests in Washington have been in decline over the last 100 years – with a 36% decline in kelp forests in the San Juan Islands in less than ten years, 80% lost in south Puget Sound the last 50 years, and disappearance of all bull kelp beds around Bainbridge Island as of 2015. Scientists and managers lack the data needed to fully understand the causes of this situation. Reef Check is working in conjunction with Puget Sound Restoration Fund (PSRF) and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to address this issue.

Reef Check Provides Training Scholarships to Seven Recipients

A new study led by researchers at Florida Tech has identified coral reef ‘bright spots’ that will likely maintain relatively high coral cover through In advance of our 2022 Kelp Forest Monitoring trainings, Reef Check has awarded scholarships to seven deserving divers from diverse backgrounds which will allow them to participate in our training. Click through to read more about this year’s recipients: Chelsea Abrahamian, LeAnn Adam, Alessandra Adamo, Vivian Chin, Francisco Guzman, Crys O’Grady and Cormac Toler-Scott. The Reef Check Scholarship Fund is made possible by generous donations from our supporters.

Remembering Dirk Burcham, Reef Check California Diver and 2013 Citizen Scientist of the Year

The Southern California diving world recently lost Each year, Reef Check’s Kelp Forest Program recognizes the most active surveyors in each region with the Golden Slate Award. With the recent passing of Dirk Burcham, a multi-year recipient of this award, Reef Check is proud to announce that we have renamed this award to the “Dirk Burcham Golden Slate Award” in honor of his role as a most invaluable member of our team of citizen scientists. Congratulations to the 2021 honorees- Kyra Anderson, Sharon Cu and Ted Sharshan!

New Staff and a New Phase for North Coast Kelp Restoration Project

We welcome two Restoration Technicians to the Reef Check team- Ian Butler and Lauren Nutt. The Mendocino County kelp restoration project started in 2020 and has successfully removed over 40,000 lbs of purple urchin from two designated restoration areas. After some early signs of success, the project is now advancing into Phase 2 to explore how urchin traps can assist in kelp restoration and urchin removals.

Video Spotlight: Dive into Science Program

Last October, Reef Check initiated its first Dive into Science training course in collaboration with Native Like Water, a Southern California non-profit organization committed to reintegration of indigenous teens and adults into ocean recreation and conservation. Training was conducted over six days, with all eight participants graduating with an Open Water SCUBA certification and garnering two dives towards their Advanced Open Water certification. Additionally, they were introduced to marine species identification, Reef Check protocols, and scientific diving. These are their experiences.

The Road to 30×30: The Scope for Malaysia to Increase Coverage of MPAs

Reef Check Red Sea Coordinator and EcoDiver Course Director Dr. Mohammed M. A. Kotb has been busy assisting the region’s up and coming researchers and coral reef advocates. As a professor of coral reef ecology at Egypt’s Suez Canal University, he is currently supervising two MSc projects on coral diseases on Egyptian Red Sea reefs and also teaches an underwater survey methods course where he introduces participants to Reef Check as a way of actively participating in conserving their reefs.

Bruce Zaretsky Art Proceeds to Benefit Reef Check Foundation

Bruce Zaretsky is many things— a landscape designer, a builder of healing gardens, a talented painter, and a conservationist. As he explored the natural world, he learned more about the threats facing our precious ecosystems and came up with a very creative way to use his unique talent to shine a light on the planet’s perils through his series Beautiful Extinction. Bruce has generously committed a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this painting to Reef Check.

Reef Check in the News

Little Furry Climate Defenders – Alta Journal
Widening the net in reef health checks – The Star (Malaysia)
Environment groups call on community to remove toxic ‘snow’ from sand dunes – Sunshine Coast News (Australia)
Swimwear brand created with ocean plastic – Dominican Today

Warming coral reefs in the past, present and future: an interview with PLOS Climate authors – Latitude – PLOS

Providing eco-friendly waste solutions on idyllic island – The Star (Malaysia)

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