Other Reef Check News
|Reef Check Teams in Action
RC Cuba began monitoring the reefs at Rinc?n de Guanabo in 1999 and is now one of Reef Check's fastest growing teams, working hard to protect Cuba's coral reefs.
Led by RC Cuba Coordinator Susel Castellanos Iglesias, volunteers Mario Gonz?lez Mart?n, Enrique Genes Due?as, and Mario Oscar Alvarez have translated our training manual into Spanish. (For a copy, please contact headquarters). Cuba, with approximately 2400 miles of almost continuous reef, has some of the most pristine reefs in the Caribbean. However, due in part to sewage, oil-related pollution, and mining and industrial discharges, Cuba's reefs and reef fisheries are deteriorating. RC Cuba and their extensive volunteer network are doing their part to save Cuba's reefs. RC sponsored Susel's attendance at the St. Lucia training workshop last July (see Issue 1). Putting her training to use almost immediately, Susel and her team conducted a local workshop this summer in the Rincon de Guanabo area. The trainees were from Flora Y Fauna, a management center responsible for protecting habitat in Cuba. RC Cuba has been successfully involving coastal communities in coral reef conservation. This is no easy task; RC Cuba members often conduct surveys without the use of a boat, and swim up to one kilometer to some of their survey sites. Reef Check Cuba continues to add volunteers to their team and they plan to have another training workshop this fall. Keep up the hard work RC Cuba!
Ed Lovell, long time RC supporter, has been working closely with the Fiji Dive Operators Association to set up a Fiji-wide monitoring network. Surveys in 2000-2001 extended to the northernmost remote islands of Fiji. Sites surveyed thus far in 2001 include permanent monitoring stations established at: Shangri-la Fijian Resort, Jean-Michel Cousteau?s Fiji Islands Resort, and Votua Village qoliqoli (common fishing grounds). Jean-Michel Cousteau?s Fiji Islands Resort has been very supportive of Reef Check programs and has provided the use of boats and incorporated Reef Check into their environmental education programs. Much of this effort has been assisted by Ocean Futures Chief Scientist, Dr. Richard Murphy.
Training Programs are scheduled for 2002 for the western chapter of the Fiji Dive Operators, the University of the South Pacific, the Fisheries Division and Department of Environment, and the Central Division Dive Operators Association. Stay tuned for more great news from Ed and Helen!
The results found that below Reef Check depths (12m), healthy and large hard coral formations were common and overall the reef was 'healthy'. In contrast, shallower areas were dominated by gorganians overrun with Y-branched algae (Dictyota sp.) spread like a net over the reef. Local biologist Jennifer McDougal, who runs the IZE site, and Janette Melvin, local dive instructor and owner of Second Nature Divers, attributed the overgrowth to hurricane damage from Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Shortly after the storm, they observed an explosion of the Dictyota among the dead hard coral in the shallow areas. The gorganians also seemed to increase in abundance since Mitch in the race for space.
John is producing a documentary-style video with the Broadcast Media Technology Department at Roxbury College on his work in Belize. The program will document the students' experiences from start to finish and aims to promote coral reef conservation, Reef Check, and Roxbury Community College. Thanks for all of your work and we look forward to seeing the video!
|Reef Check Honored with Award
Reef Check Honored With National Conservation Award
Dr. Gregor Hodgson, Reef Check Director, received a Chevron Conservation Award for his conservation work with Reef Check. The Chevron Conservation Awards Program, established in 1954, annually recognizes outstanding contributions of individuals and organizations to the conservation of natural resources. Greg was one of six honorees who were chosen “for their proven skills in finding creative and practical solutions to difficult conservation challenges and for their ability to work with widely divergent organizations, achieve consensus, and bring about innovative and effective resolutions to complex environmental issues.”
?Reef Check has shown that both science and conservation can benefit from the motivation and skills of people at the community level,? says Dr. Donald Paul, vice-president of technology and environmental affairs for Chevron Corporation.
|Spotlight on Reef Check Site
RC Barbados has been extremely active since it began in 1997 and continues to work hard in making Reef Check a presence in the Caribbean. RC Barbados has established solid partnerships with other organizations such as the Barbados Marine Trust, Mauby Divers, and PADI Project Aware. These various groups have come together to work hard on achieving their common goal – to ensure that Barbados coral reefs are healthy and sustainable. Local hotels such as Coconut Court, Casuarina, Royal Pavilion/Glitter Bay, and Treasure Beach have also become involved with helping to protect Barbados coastal ecosystem.
In September, RC Barbados conducted a beach cleanup on the west coast of the island. This initiative was extremely successful, bringing 54 divers and many members of the community together. Following the cleanup, 12 volunteers were recruited and trained in Reef Check methods. Those volunteers conducted two Reef Check surveys on Batts Rock and Folkestone reef.
Last Earth Day, RC Barbados, led by Loreto Duffy Meyers and Renata Goodridge, together with their partner organizations, surveyed four sites on the west coast and Carlisle Bay. They were overwhelmed with volunteers who were eager to participate in such a monumental event. Such involvement in Earth day activities continues to place Barbados on the forefront of community involvement in reef conservation.
A recent addition to RC Barbados is Andre Miller, who works with the Barbados Coastal Zone Management Unit. Andre participated in the St. Lucia training this summer and has already led four surveys this fall. With Andre's help, Reef Check programs in Barbados continue to expand steadily and are making an important contribution to the protection and enhancement of our marine environment. Way to go RC Barbados! For more information about RC Barbados please contact: Renata Goodridge, Andre Miller, , or Loreto Duffy Meyers.
|Trainings and Workshops
UN Environment Program Meeting in Iceland
Marine Ornamentals Conference in Orlando, FL
The aquarium hobby is second only to photography in popularity in the United States, and is rapidly becoming as popular in many other countries worldwide. A large percentage of fresh-water ornamental fish are now cultured, however; the vast majority of ornamental marine specimens continue to be harvested from the wild. For more information about MAC's certification program, please visit their website.
2nd International Training of Trainers Workshop, Phuket, Thailand
|Why doesn't RC include coralline algae as a substrate category?
Team scientists often ask us why coralline algae is not a substrate category in the line transect. To clarify this issue, it helps to understand how we developed the RC protocol.
Reef Check's ecological were not created to attempt to duplicate an academic survey but rather to provide useful tools for practicing coral reef managers. Our protocol includes indicator species that have economic and/or ecological value. The presence or absence of these indicator species provides a guideline for reef managers. Coralline algae fill an important niche on a coral reef. However, coralline algae is not economically valuable and is not harvested. More importantly, it is unlikely that a reef manager would alter their management activities if a change in coralline algae cover was detected. As always, teams are encouraged to add species or to record more detailed categories to their surveys as long as they do not change the core RC methods reported to Headquarters.
|Other Reef Check News
WARM WELCOME TO NEW REEF CHECK STAFF
REEF CHECK TRAINING VIDEO UNDERWAY
In September, Quiksilver announced a further four-year commitment to Reef Check. The Quiksilver Crossing will now embark on a circumnavigation of the world and be extended until November 2005, making the entire voyage nearly seven years. A Reef Check scientist will be aboard on each leg of the crossing. Reef Check scientists will continue to survey coral reef communities as the Indies Trader completes it journey. For more details, read the media release from Quiksilver.
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|Coral Reefs in the News
Cry of the Water, a coral reef monitoring group in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, has documented unexpectedly high coral cover and species diversity off the Broward County shoreline in an area that is now threatened by a massive dredge and fill project. Prior surveys of the area have missed or underestimated the size and extent of large stands of staghorn coral reef and ancient coral colonies that are found close to shore. Previously, early agency planning documents repeatedly stated that the three million cubic yard dredging project using seven offshore dredge sites would not significantly impact the reefs of Ft. Lauderdale. For more information please click here.
SUZUKI: REEFS SUFFER FROM POISONING, BLASTING
The global coral reef education, monitoring and management program.
The Reef Check Foundation