The Transect Line – May/June 2013 Newsletter Archive
Selfless Tee Offers Special Shirts to Benefit Reef Check Reef Check Dominican Republic Launches National Coral Reef Initiative
Oakley to Match Up to $25,000 in Donations to Reef Check Reef Check Iran Holds Student Workshop
Reef Check Haiti’s 2nd EcoDiver Team Learns to Dive Upcoming Event: Save the Reefs, Save the Oceans Gala
Reef Check Malaysia’s Rockin’ 4 the Reefs 2013    

Selfless Tee Offers Special Shirts to Benefit Reef Check
Selfless Tee has chosen Reef Check as their latest campaign partner. Until June 24th, you can purchase specially designed tees and hoodies created just for Reef Check, with a portion of each purchase going back to our programs to save reefs.

With your purchase you can wear some sweet ocean art and help us protect and monitor reefs around the world. They are only available for a very limited time, so visit the Selfless Tee website to get them while you can!

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Oakley to Match Up to $25,000 in Donations to Reef Check
Reef Check would like to welcome Oakley, Inc., aboard as a new sponsor! Oakley will be matching up to $25,000USD in donations to Reef Check, which has been named the official charitable partner of the Oakley Pro Bali.

“At Oakley, we believe that everything in this world can and will be made better,” said Jennifer Walker, Oakley Community Relations Program Manager. “We apply this philosophy not only to our product innovations, but to our philanthropic efforts as well. The Oakley Pro Bali is an incredible platform to raise awareness and funds for an important global issue: reef health and conservation, through our partnership with Reef Check Foundation.”

“We are really pleased to partner with Oakley to help coral reefs in Bali,” said Dr. Gregor Hodgson, Executive Director at Reef Check. “Without healthy reefs, we won't have fish to eat or good waves to surf.”

Oakley will match up to $25,000USD in donations made on during the Oakley Pro Bali June 18 – 29, 2013 to support Reef Check Indonesia. For each $25USD donation, donors will receive one entry into the Sweepstakes, sponsored by SurfCredits for a chance to win an 11 day trip at the Wavepark Mentawai Resort, a free Oakley t-shirt (while supplies last) and $75USD in discounts from surf industry partners.

Oakley guests in Bali for the Oakley Pro will participate in a Reef Check Marine Education Session, learning alongside local students the impact healthy reefs have on the environment and how to contribute to their preservation. Oakley has also partnered with the local schools and community to conduct pre and post event beach clean-ups surrounding the contest site at Keramas.

Stop No. 5 of 10 of the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour, the Oakley Pro Bali runs from June 18 – 29, 2013, thanks in part, to the support of valued event partner Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.

Watch the contest unfold live and find out more on the partnership at

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Reef Check Haiti’s 2nd EcoDiver Team Learns to Dive
By Maya Shoup, PADI Instructor

What an experience to cherish!

My travels to the north shore of Haiti with Reef Check to teach 15 university students the PADI Open Water Diver course are the reasons I became a PADI instructor. Not only to make a difference in an individual’s life, but to also raise awareness about our ocean and its conservation….to make a change!

Haiti’s coral reefs and fish populations have been on a dramatic decline over the years due to overfishing. Local fishermen can no longer find big fish to catch so are now targeting smaller fish like parrotfish, snappers, grunts and more. These fish are all that’s left due to overfishing and the lack of fishing regulations and marine protected areas- the reefs of Haiti are under threat of extinction. As Reef Check builds their EcoDiver teams in Haiti, they are also building awareness about the importance of restoring, replenishing and protecting what little coral and fish they have left.

With over 300 applicants wishing to become EcoDivers in Cape Haitien, Reef Check’s team had some work to do to pick the most suitable 15 candidates who could learn to swim, snorkel and ultimately have a chance of passing their PADI Open Water course. Before I arrived in Haiti to teach their SCUBA course, these 15 students had successfully learned how to swim and snorkel. As their skills and confidence increased, they were ready for the world of SCUBA. The opportunity to explore the underwater world by SCUBA in Haiti is very uncommon. It was explained to me as “an opportunity of a lifetime,” according to the students.

When I arrived, I was filled with excitement to meet my hard working students. Knowing how much they worked to get to this point in their course was a great feeling for any SCUBA instructor….

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Reef Check Malaysia’s Rockin’ 4 the Reefs 2013
By Reef Check Malaysia

In April, Reef Check Malaysia (RCM) and the Environmental Education Alliance of South East Asia (EEASEA), with support from Ecoknights and Go! International, organized Rockin’ 4 the Reefs 2013 (R4R). R4R is an annual music, arts and cultural festival to raise awareness and funds for local environmental education and conservation initiatives. It is part of the annual Rockin for the Environment series that has “rocked” in the past for sun bears, dugongs, orangutans, tigers and turtles.

The two-week long R4R campaign was launched at Publika, a local shopping mall, with performances by school groups from SK Bukit Damansara, SMK Puterijaya, SK Brickfields, International School KL and the Alice Smith School, as well as performances from local artists Az Samad, Poova and Bihzhu. In addition to the performances, 17 non-governmental organizations and businesses that promote green living showcased their work and products at the R4R bazaar.

After the launch, RCM continued to visit schools, universities and companies under the banner of R4R, conducting talks to raise awareness for coral reefs and problems they are facing. The talks reached out to about 3,365 school students and close to 100 staff from various companies around Kuala Lumpur.

In conjunction with R4R, RCM also launched its “Adopt a Reef” and “Adopt a Reef Critter” programs, allowing individuals and companies to contribute to coral reef conservation. For RM 1000, an individual or company can support the cost of conducting a coral reef survey. Alternatively, an individual can also symbolically adopt one of 3 reef critters for RM 20, RM 50 and RM 100. This will help fund coral reef education programs.

R4R has raised nearly RM 10,000 for local environmental education and conservation, and has reached out through various media to educate an estimated 20,000 people about coral reefs. The Rockin 4 the Environment series will continue in 2014 and will hope to reach out to more individuals and spread awareness for conservation initiatives.

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Reef Check Dominican Republic Launches National Coral Reef Initiative

By Reef Check Dominican Republic

This May, Reef Check Dominican Republic (RCDR) launched the National Coral Reef Initiative. In order to reduce local impacts, restore affected areas and promote sustainable use of marine and coastal resources, RCDR announced the implementation of strategic alliances with key partner institutions in parts of the country with tourist or fisheries importance to develop regional coral reefs initiatives, that all combined, constitute the national coral reef initiative. The National Coral Reef Initiative seeks to institutionalize local or regional efforts that would in turn follow the global guidelines of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI).

This initiative aims to provide training for different groups of users, both to raise awareness and to enable local communities to verify the status and progress or deterioration of marine ecosystems. These studies will indicate the location and size of potential protected areas, both inside and outside the national system of protected areas, and will involve local communities in sustainable use activities in these areas. These natural attractions, in turn, will benefit the local communities.

Partners supporting this initiative will create a locally funded independent marine conservation area from voluntary user fees and will be responsible for active members and for following the guidelines of sustainable use of coastal marine resources through local conservation programs.

Currently the National Coral Reef Initiative has launched activities in Las Terrenas with Turtle Dive School Dive Center, Coral Point Divers in Bayahibe, and Tasha Gough in Cabarete, Sosua and Punta Rucia. Montecristi and Las Galeras will be coming on board soon.

To be part of this initiative, please contact RCDR at 809-227-4409,, or visit

In recognition of its conservation efforts, RCDR recently was awarded the 2013 ATABEY Conservation Award by the Centro de Innovación ATABEY (the ATABEY Center of Innovation). Located in the Dominican Republic, the Atabey Awards is an annual event that identifies national efforts related to environmental protection, coupled with local economic development and the promotion of social cohesion. The award aims to recognize the work of individuals or institutions that perform actions or relevant works to the benefit of sustainable development in the communities where they are located. At the same time, the award serves as a platform to showcase what is being done in the Dominican Republic in terms of sustainable design, environmental protection, alternative energy technologies, organic agriculture, among other related topics.

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Reef Check Iran Holds Student Workshop
By Mohammad Ghavasi, Reef Check Iran

Mohammad Ghavasi of Reef Check Iran recently held a workshop for marine biology students at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. Entitled “Introduction to Diving & Underwater World”, the workshop introduced Reef Check to the participants and explained how they can act to help save our coral reefs. As a result, many new volunteers were found who will be able to participate in future activities.

The first Reef Check brochure published in Persian was given to the participants; donors willing to assist with the publication of a second brochure are currently needed.

Thank you to Mr. R. Bahmai and Miss S. Alassi, who assisted with the lecture, as well as Mr. A. Bitaab and his wife Mrs. S. Mosafer who held the workshop.

To participate or support Reef Check Iran, please contact Mohammad Ghavasi at or +98-936-896-3171.

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Upcoming Event: Save the Reefs, Save the Oceans Gala

Save the Reefs, Save the Oceans Gala
September 19, 2013
Santa Monica, California

This year's Save the Reefs, Save the Oceans Reef Check Gala will be held Thursday, September 19 at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica, California. The evening will recognize the contributions of our “Heroes of the Reef” each having demonstrated an exemplary commitment to ocean conservation.

Scuba diving and surfing legend Bob Meistrell will be honored in celebration of the 60th anniversary of his co-founding of Body Glove and California’s surf culture with his twin brother, Bill. Their development of the first practical wetsuit has allowed millions of people around the world to comfortably enjoy our reefs and oceans.

Dirk Burcham will be honored with the Citizen Scientist of the Year Award for his commitment and dedication to marine conservation as a Reef Check California volunteer diver. For the past four years, Dirk has led all southern California Reef Checkers in completing the most survey transects.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. We are also looking for donated items for our live and silent auctions. Please contact or 1-310-230-2371 for information on how to participate.

Proceeds from the gala will fund educational programs for children and the conservation of tropical coral reefs and California rocky reefs.

To ensure delivery, please add our e-mail address to your Address Book. Thank You.
Reef Check P.O. Box 1057 Pacific Palisades, CA 90272-1057 USA