diver at Shaw's Cove
A diver & gorgonians at Shaws Cove, a Reef Check California survey site within the Orange County oil spill zone

Community Comes Together to Assess
Orange County Oil Spill Impact

Earlier this month, an estimated 25,000 gallons of crude oil from a ruptured pipeline impacted the coastal waters of Orange County, California. We let you know that we shared your concern about the oil spill and that we needed your support to ensure that we would be able to conduct the required assessments and garner the necessary information to help local reefs recover from any negative impacts this spill could have on the region’s important kelp forest communities. 

Thanks to your support, we will mobilize our highly skilled volunteer team to conduct surveys at six kelp forest sites this weekend. Luckily, it looks like this spill might not have been as bad as initially feared. After our divers have had the chance to re-survey our Orange County sites, we will update you with what we learn about the post-spill effects on these fragile ecosystems.

With endless gratitude, we thank each of you- our divers and supporters-  for making this possible. It’s a testament to the strength of the Reef Check community to be able to organize and respond to these emergencies so quickly.

Male Sheephead

Think You Know Your Kelp Forest Critters? Test Your ID Skills with Three New Videos

Reef Check California (RCCA) has produced three incredible videos using footage from volunteers, partners, and staff for our species identification training. RCCA’s fishinvertebrate, and algae indicator species are represented here, as well as the codes used during our kelp forest monitoring surveys. We’ve included 20 seconds of footage for each species (10 seconds without a label and 10 seconds with) so you can quiz yourself on each one. We’ve also grouped the organisms that look similar to each other so you can observe the differences among them.

Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2020

Reef Check Contributes to Newly Released Status of Coral Reefs of the World Report

Our ocean is the blue beating heart of our planet, but we are putting it under pressure like never before. This year, national governments have the chance to protect our ocean at the key climate talks in Glasgow. Join Reef Check, other NGOs, celebrities and scientific experts tThis month saw the release of the Status of Coral Reefs of the World Report: 2020, of which Reef Check and its tropical coral reef database was a contributor. The report, the first since 2008, documents the loss of approximately 14 percent of the world’s coral since 2009, but also found that many of the world’s coral reefs remain resilient and can recover if conditions allow, providing hope for the long-term health of coral reefs if immediate steps are taken to reduce emissions to curb future warming. A huge thank you to all the Reef Check volunteers and chapters around the world for their surveys!

Video Spotlight: 
The 6th GCRMN Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2020 Animation

The Status of Coral Reefs of the World Report: 2020 (see story above) is the flagship publication of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) and describes the status and trends of coral reefs worldwide. This edition of the report is the first based on the quantitative analysis of a global dataset compiled from monitoring data contributed by more than 300 members of the network. The dataset spanned more than 40 years from 1978 to 2019, and consisted of almost 2 million observations from more than 12,000 sites in 73 coral reef countries around the world.

Reef Check Malaysia Talks Reef Resilience (Part 3)

In Parts 1 & 2 of this article series, Reef Check Malaysia discussed its marine resource conservation programs involving local communities in three locations around Malaysia, covering the importance of resilience in long-term reef conservation and the role that strengthening local stakeholders’ livelihoods plays. In this article, they share some thoughts on how we can link all this together with approaches to managing protected areas that ensure the best possible conservation outcomes that benefit everyone.

MAMBÚ + Reef Check

Our friends at MAMBÚ are partnering with Reef Check to help save reefs worldwide! 50% of proceeds from purchases made from the ‘Save the Reef’ collection will go directly to Reef Check! With three unique designs to choose from, the shirts are made from organic cotton and recycled plastic. Use code RCF10 to get 10% off your order. Check out their biodegradable phone cases and more at mambu.store or follow them on Instagram @mambu_us

Mambu t-shirt designs

Reef Check in the News

California Sea Urchin Are Destroying Coastal Kelp Forests – The New York Times

New studies aid kelp conservation – Encyclopedia of Puget Sound (Washington, USA)

Malaysian biodiversity conservation: NGOs get centre-stage on world climate platform – Eco-Business

Urchin Slayers Are Trying to Save the Underwater Rainforest – Wired

These urchin slayers are trying to save California’s underwater ‘rainforest’ – Grist

A California fisherman sails the choppy waters of climate change and drought – Los Angeles Times

For more, visit www.reefcheck.org/press/