Amidst the Gloom, a Conservation Success Story –
Three Years of Reef Check Oman

It has been three years since Reef Check Oman was founded by graduates of Biosphere Expeditions’ placement program. Run by Omanis for Omanis, the chapter’s goal is to preserve the country’s coral reefs, which are not only beautiful, but also the foundation of local livelihoods, sustainable tourism and traditional ways of life. And it has been doing just that.

From Alaska to Baja: Cooperative Research Effort Documents Kelp Migration

In a display of the power of citizen science to capture data that spans the Pacific Ocean, three countries, and the entire West Coast of North America, a team of scientists and countless volunteers from 14 organizations joined forces to document the northward migration of kelp forests due to warming waters. Reef Check data from California and Baja were included in this study that shows how climate change already has and will continue to affect kelp forest communities and the human societies that depend on them.

The Reef Check Komodo Project is Born

Recently, the management team of the Reef Check EcoDiver Training Facility Divine Diving in Komodo, Indonesia began piloting a project that has since made history in the country by being the first organization to have ever been permitted to carry out scientific survey work inside an Indonesian National Park and World Heritage site. The project has trained 10 local Indonesians as citizen scientists and Reef Check EcoDivers, and will have carried out over 50 surveys by the end of the year.

Video Spotlight: 
Dive “Ship Rock”!

This footage was captured last month during an extremely successful monitoring trip by Southern California Reef Check Divers! In this video, Dr. Selena McMillan, our SoCal regional manager, records the diversity of fish species, the expanse of the invasive brown algae, Sargassum horneri (which has displaced the endemic giant kelp forest there) and a couple of volunteers (Rob McClelland and Ted Sharshan) at Ship Rock, a pinnacle just off of Santa Catalina Island on October 14, 2020.

kelp forest infographic

New “Vanishing Kelp Forests” Infographic Available to Download

A new infographic, available as a free download, shares the story of California’s vanishing kelp forests, depicting its shift from lush forests into urchin barrens.

Mantanani- Sustainable Islands in the Sun

For years, tourism has been impacting the environmental health of coral islands off Sabah, Malaysia’s west coast. Among them is the Mantanani group, located off the tip of Borneo. But there are far fewer tourists now as the pandemic stifles travel. With the help of Reef Check Malaysia and a goal of sustainable tourism, islanders are using this lull to try new businesses and better manage their environment.

Reef Check in the News

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Extends a Potential Lifeline to the Northern California Coast – NAUI Sources: The Journal of Underwater Education

11 tonnes of trash cleared from beaches on international coastal clean-up day – The Star Online (Malaysia)

North Coast Kelp Forest Restoration Project shows early evidence of success – Fort Bragg Advocate-News (California, USA)

Nearly 100kgs of ghost nets removed – Borneo Bulletin

The Ayla Sea Soak: Reef Check update – Ayla: Inside Our Brands

For more, visit