New Reef Check Program Launches in Ecuador

We are happy to announce there is a new Reef Check coordinator and training facility in Ecuador, led by Conservación Marina Ecuador (CONMAR). One of CONMAR’s main objectives is to increase scientific research efforts and monitoring of coral reef ecosystems in continental Ecuador and they found Reef Check to be a perfect match. Now only a team of four people, they are hoping to grow more over the coming years, showing citizens the importance of coral reefs, ecosystem monitoring, and how each of us can help to conserve our ocean backyard.

Annie Bauer-Civiello Joins Reef Check as Restoration Program Director

Reef Check has welcomed Annie Bauer-Civiello into a new position as Director of the Kelp Restoration Program. Annie received a Bachelor of Science in marine biology from the University of California Santa Cruz and her Master of Science in marine biology and PhD in environmental science at Australia’s James Cook University. While in Australia, Annie worked as the Great Barrier Reef Survey Coordinator for Reef Check Australia, where she led scientific dives, marine debris clean ups and outreach events. Annie has recently returned to her roots in California and she is very excited to bring her wide range of experience and knowledge to assist Reef Check’s Restoration Program.

Invasive Seaweed Found in California Marine Protected Area

In May, Reef Check California divers observed Sargassum muticum, an invasive species of seaweed, in the State Marine Reserve at Point Lobos State Park, marking the first recorded observation in a Marine Protected Area along the open coast of Central California. The specimens were observed growing in several clusters of multiple individuals in shallow water, approximately 2-3 ft deep. Sargassum muticum, also known as “wireweed,” is native to Japan. Invasives can be incredibly harmful to local ecosystems; if left unchecked they can outcompete native species for resources like food and sunlight, and put pressure on the services the ecosystem naturally provides.

Video Spotlight: Kelp Restoration in Monterey on
Wildlife Nation with Jeff Corwin

Reef Check and the Giant Giant Kelp Restoration Project (G2KR) recently joined Jeff Corwin in Monterey to showcase one of our kelp restoration projects at Tanker’s Reef. In the episode, Jeff dives with Reef Check’s Jan Freiwald and G2KR’s Keith Rootsaert to see the overpopulation of purple urchins and explains how organized urchin culling efforts by volunteer divers are needed to give the kelp forests a fighting chance to survive.

Reef Check Malaysia Celebrates Busy Ocean Month in June

June marks World Coral Day, World Environment Day, World Ocean Day and Coral Triangle Day, creating an Ocean Month during which Reef Check Malaysia has been tirelessly working alongside government officials and local communities to celebrate and bring attention to important issues. Teams across the country participated in beach and reef cleanups, presentations, surveys and trainings.

Reef Check in the News

Turning the tide on reef damage – Borneo Bulletin Online

New research method expands kelp health monitoring in Puget Sound – KING 5 (Washington, USA)

Podcast Earth Matters: Biodiversity for Malaysia: Whither, the 30×30 Target? – BBFM 89.9 (Malaysia)

New Eyes on Kelp initiative boosts underwater monitoring of kelp beds – Issaquah Reporter (Washington, USA)

Kelp need help: Paul Allen’s foundation, enviros and entrepreneurs step up to save an essential seaweed – GeekWire

Kelp has protected Samish people for millennia. Now it needs their help – KUOW (Washington, USA)

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