The Transect Line – May 2008
Reef Check California

The Reef Check California survey season is off to a roaring start.  Since April, we have held trainings on Catalina Island, in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Vacaville, and Monterey.  Our volunteers have completed surveys at eight sites so far this year and are rearing to go on our ambitious plan for the remainder of the season.  California volunteers who are looking to plan ahead for upcoming surveys should check out the online forum.  We have posted a Statewide RCCA Diver Calendar which lists the large majority of the survey sites and dates for the entire survey season. Please use this opportunity to take part in surveys both close to home and in not-yet-explored regions of the state! 

Our Two-Year Report is now available for download both as a full 36-page document plus two appendices, and as a more condensed Executive Summary.  This is a great resource for learning about specific survey sites and/or entire regions of the state.  Come see how RCCA has grown since 2006 and view the products that have been created with the hard work of our volunteers! 

Executive Summary (2MB)
Full Report

Stayed tuned for more as the diving season progresses in California. See you in the water!

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! The following are some examples of how people are participating. For more information, please visit and

United Arab Emirates
As part of their IYOR 2008 celebrations, the Emirates Diving Association will hold an exhibit for World Environment Day on June 5, 2008, and plans to hold a signature campaign there for the International Declaration of Reef Rights.

A Reef Check group in Italy is organizing an expedition to the Maldives. In recent years, they have developed good partnerships with several diving centers and educational institutions there. The project aims at immersing kids and adults in coral reef education and conservation.

Two new videos aimed at promoting the IYOR and reef conservation are now available at Reef Check Italy’s website. The first video, titled La Barriera Corallina, contains great images and information on coral reefs and can be viewed in both Italian and English. The second video on the monitoring of Mediterranean reefs utilizing Reef Check Italy’s Coastal Environment Monitoring protocol features the Year of the Reef Song as background music, and visually identifies key marine species. Click here to watch.

US Virgin Islands
USVI’s record of IYOR 2008 activities is an impressive one, and they are making sure it stays that way! Below are some of their upcoming events:

– Get ready to jam to your favorite local musicians Jamesie & The All-Star Band and Kurt Schindler at the St. Croix Reef Jam benefit concert. Sunday, May 25th, St. Croix Reef Jam Festival.

– Everyone is invited to Frederiksted’s Dorsch Beach for USVI’s fourth snorkel clinic and beach clean up on Sunday, June 8, from 10am-12pm to celebrate World Ocean Day.

Have you signed the International Declaration of Reef Rights?
Join the 10,300 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

The Oceans are our Front Yard – Lingkungan Laut Halaman Depan Rumah Kita: Report from Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia

Since the “Reefs at Risk in South East Asia” study placed most reefs in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia in the High Risk category, several surveys have revealed that, indeed, reefs here at the heart of the Coral Triangle are under heavy pressure from human activities. It is ironic that in spite of a coastline exceeding 4,500km — most of which was originally fringed by thriving coral reefs, seagrass and mangroves — the majority of the population is still unaware of the key role these coastal ecosystems play in supporting livelihoods and coastal protection. As in many other parts of the world, the majority of the population lives in the coastal zone. Citizens expect the sea to absorb waste and provide an unending supply of fish, as it has done in the past. This is especially evident here in the fjord-like Palu Bay, surrounded by largely deforested but still majestic mountains, where the Provincial Capitals Palu and Donggala (the Capital of Donggala District) occupy much of the lower-lying land. Despite rising urban populations and modernization, the Bay also retains a considerable fishing community with artisanal and semi-modern fishing fleets.

Marine Management Area and Reef Check Centre launched at Tejakula District, Bali, Indonesia

On Earth Day, the head of the district of Buleleng, Putu Bagiada, launched a Marine Management Area at Bondalem village in the Tejakula Subdistrict of Buleleng, Bali.

“The initiation in Bondalem is an inspiring smart action by the community and the government,” said Nurjaya, head of the tourism department of Bali Province, who gave a welcoming speech before the launch. The tourism department also presented a donation for families in the village as part of the government’s village development plan.

Naneng Setiasih from the Reef Check Foundation Indonesia said that village development is extremely important for conservation. She also said that resources should be managed in an integrated way with economic development, education, and access to sustainable resource use.

Reef Check Thailand Coordinator Receives Award

Reef Check Thailand coordinator Suchana Apple Chavanich was recently chosen to be one of four awardees in this year’s “For Women in Science in Thailand” organized by L'OREAL Thailand and Thai UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). This is the sixth year the two organizations have teamed up to give research grants to women scientists who are pushing their limits to come up with breakthrough inventions or discoveries. The four honorees will each receive a grant of 200,000 baht (US$6,283) from L’Oreal, which sets aside 3% of the company’s income to research.

Aruba Students Survey Local Reef

On April 16th, the International School of Aruba Oceanography class led by Reef Check Aruba coordinator Sue Hieter went to Baby Beach, Seroe Colorado, Aruba to survey its shallow reef. The class consisted of twelve students, 15-18 years old. They surveyed two sections of the channel area around Baby Beach. In 2004 this area was hit by the tail end of Hurricane Ivan, which destroyed most of the shallow reef (1-5m). It is also an area that tourists visit to snorkel.

As a result of the survey, they noticed that some of the coral is returning and fish populations are increasing slowly, but the invertebrate species are still next to nothing. The team plans to survey this channel every year and hopes to see an increase in the populations of these organisms.

Author Will Donate Proceeds From Book to Reef Check
Canadian author Maida Hewton will donate a portion of sales from her newly released book, Double Up, to Reef Check. Debuting on June 2nd, Double Up is the first in a series of Jordan Fisher Adventure novels by Maida Hewton:

Follow Jordan Fisher in the fast paced action adventure as she takes on her first assignment with NETT, where she must draw on her multitude of life experiences and skills to complete her task. However, the adventure goes awry. Who's to blame? Jordan needs to find out quickly as a young girl's life may depend on it.

In the book, Maida Hewton draws upon many facets of her own life including scuba diving, power boating and her love of travel.
Visit to order the book today. Double Up can also be purchased online.
Mark Your Calendars
Reef Check International Photo Contest 2008

Help Reef Check raise awareness about the importance of coral reefs by participating in the International Year of the Reef 2008 photo contest, “What do coral reefs mean to you?” Reef Check Australia has kicked off the competition with five categories you can enter to win fantastic prizes! Submissions by Australia residents can be sent in from May 1 to June 30, 2008. To participate, please visit The International contest will open on July 1st and will be hosted on

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, live tank dives, 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.” Check back for more details.

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