Site Spotlight – Isla Natividad, Baja California
Reef Check Champion – Mike Guardino
Reef Check News
Reef Check Teams in Action
Mark Your Calendars
|Tribute to Eddy Medora|
|Reef Check Establishes Eddy Medora Memorial Fund
Reef Check Board Member Eddy Medora passed away on October 26, 2006 following a brief respiratory illness. Eddy was a California kid, who began working in earnest in the 7th grade playing lead guitar for ?the Renegades?, a garage band that rehearsed in his parent?s home in Pacific Palisades. Later Eddy became the lead guitarist and saxophone player for ?the Sunrays?, playing all over West Los Angeles. In 1963 Eddy met Carl and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, who introduced the Renegades to their father, Murray Wilson, who was looking for another group to manage. A string of hits followed, including ?I Live for the Sun? and ?Andrea,? and were released by Tower Records. The band played (singing in five part harmonies) under several names, including ?The Snowmen?, ?The Rangers?, and finally ?The Sunrays?. For great photos and stories about Eddy?s early life please visit the Sunrays website at http://sunrays718.tripod.com/id1.html and an interview at http://www.earcandymag.com/sunrays.htm
The Sunrays performed with a seemingly endless list of music greats, including the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, the Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, the Doors, Neil Sedaka, the Loving Spoonful, the Righteous Brothers and Neil Diamond. They played such venues as the Hollywood Bowl, Disneyland and the Cow Palace, and were featured on every major television show devoted to music during the fifties and sixties, including Dick Clark?s American Bandstand, Casey Kasem?s Shebang, and ?Hollywood-a-Go-Go?.
Eddy?s first job was working as a designer at Barker Brothers Design Centers, and his clients included Lorne Green of Bonanza fame, Jimmy Durante, Dean Martin and Bob Hope. Eddy?s talents as a painter were developed more recently, and he was in high demand for his portraits in Beverly Hills. His work can be seen at: http://medorapaintings.tripod.com. Eddy was very generous, and donated a number of his paintings to Reef Check auctions, including Reef Rescue ?06.
Eddy was best known in the entertainment community as the beloved National Marketing Director for the Walt Disney Company, where he worked from 1970 until his retirement in 2000. In his thirty years at Disney Eddy met and befriended all of Hollywood, and his passing has left every one of his friends and family with a heavy heart and endless memories of Eddy?s wit and charm. Eddy?s lively good humor was a constant source of energy and laughter at Board Meetings and events. He was one of the key designers of the ?Inhabitants? Las Vegas show and our annual Reef Rescue event. His advice on marketing and sales was invaluable in the development of the Reef Check EcoAction program that includes a variety of books and educational programs.
Eddy will be remembered forever for his irascible humor and for the wonderful stories that were made even richer through the prism of Eddy?s humor and love of life. At the request of his lovely wife Joann and his beautiful children Nicole and Christopher we have established a Memorial Fund that will carry his name and that will be used to fund the Reef Check California program so that we can continue to care for the reefs where Eddy used to play. We will also name a California reef survey site after Eddy and carry out an annual survey there in his name. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, you may use the PayPal button at www.reefcheck.org/news/eddy.asp or simply send your check to Reef Check Foundation, P.O. Box 1057, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 and make a note that your gift is to support the Eddy Medora Memorial Fund.
|Site Spotlight- Isla Natividad, Baja California|
By Mary Luna
Craig and Mary joined COBI members Dr. Andrea Saenz-Arroyo, Luis Bourillon and Jorge Torre in addition to the expert dive safety team of Abraham Mendoza and Gabi Garza. Joining them from the United States was Fiorenza Micheli, a professor from Hopkins Marine Laboratory in Monterey, who brought a wealth of expertise in Marine Protected Area assessment. The students were six fishermen from the Natividad Cooperative: Alonzo (Groso), Abraham (Sapo), Alonzo (Cejas), Juan Carlos, Robert (Toshi), and Mike. The local biologist of the island, Antonio, also took part in the training. This group had recently returned from La Paz where they got scuba certified. Normally the local fishermen dive with hookah, spending an average of 3-4 hours per day underwater, so learning to dive with a scuba tank was a new experience for them. Spending the majority of their lives fishing their island?s reefs, they can tell you almost anything about currents, tides, bottom topography, wind patterns, and local wildlife!
The purpose of the first day of diving was to allow the new scuba divers to become familiar with their new diving gear donated by COBI. Trained in the Sea of Cortez, these guys had never been scuba diving in cold water in their wetsuits. This day also gave Craig and Fiorenza an opportunity to look around the reefs. They must have liked what they saw as they came back from each dive glowing with the talk of large and abundant fish, algae and invertebrates. Back on land we met to officially start the Reef Check California training.
We wish to thank the Buzos y Pescadores and community of Isla Natividad for their generous hospitality and dedication to marine conservation, as well as COBI for organizing such a wonderful project.
|Reef Check Champion– Mike Guardino|
This month we are proud to feature Mike Guardino as our Reef Check Champion. He has been an integral part of Reef Check California?s great success during our first year of sampling. Mike is a certified PADI instructor and a teacher at Carmel High School where he has taught a Subtidal Marine Research course to students since 1998. The students learn to identify an extensive list of local marine algae, invertebrates and fish, as well as basic scientific sampling techniques. At the completion of the course, the students receive an American Academy of Underwater Sciences dive certification which is required by all University dive programs. Beginning this fall semester, Mike will be teaching his students the California Program sampling protocols. Mike and his students have adopted two survey sites in Carmel Bay and have already successfully completed one. Mike?s students will monitor these sites on a regular basis, thus strengthening the foundation of the statewide sampling network we have begun to build. Mike loves the ocean and diving and told me, ??there is nothing more beautiful than watching the sun filter through a kelp canopy and nothing more gratifying than sharing that with a young person.? He also told me that using the Reef Check California protocols makes him feel optimistic that the efforts of his class may eventually help establish more Marine Protected Areas and improve marine management. Mike is an incredible asset and has brought an amazing wealth of knowledge and experience to the Reef Check Team. We look forward to continuing to work with Mike and supporting his class? efforts. Thanks Mike!!!
|Reef Check News|
New Staff at Reef Check Headquarters
Cori Kane – Program Manager
Reef Check To Launch Redesigned Website
First EcoAction Training of Trainers Held in Mexico
In this training, we brought together old Reef Check friends as well as some new ones and had a blast catching up and diving into our EcoAction program. Over the course of 3 days and a few margaritas (a must while in Mexico), we got some great feedback on fine-tuning the training materials. After spending two days in the classroom we practiced our monitoring skills while diving in Cozumel?s amazing marine park. A great activity for our participants included an underwater identification quiz, one of the new components in our EcoDiver course. Although grumpy at first (it had been more than 20 years since some of our participants had taken any sort of exam), the quiz was a fun and successful way to test our underwater knowledge and everybody passed with flying colors!
Reef Check Inhabitants Show in Las Vegas A Big Hit
The result was a spectacular show and a very enthusiastic crowd. Video clips and photos from the night can be viewed online at http://www.reefcheck.org/events/inhabitants/inhabitants.asp. Plans are already being made to incorporate elements of the show into future Reef Check events. Special thanks to all the participants, Chameleon Studios, and sponsor Oronoco Rum which donated a mojito bar for the night!
By RC California Director, Dr. Craig Shuman
It is hard for me to believe that our first official field season is behind us. In eighteen short months (trust me, they flew by) we applied our tropical model of community monitoring to the temperate waters of California. We designed, peer reviewed, and field tested the Reef Check California monitoring protocol, developed a comprehensive set of training and testing materials, and completed dozens of public presentations and outreach events. We successfully completed seven training workshops and have certified upwards of 70 volunteer divers from Humboldt County to Palm Springs to participate in Reef Check California surveys.
Under Cyndi Dawson?s fearless leadership, the central coast teams surveyed 12 sites in preparation for the implementation of the new network of marine reserves approved by the California Fish and Game Commission on August 15, 2006 (http://www.dfg.ca.gov/MRD/mlpa/commissiondocs.html). Not to be outdone, the teams in southern California completed surveys of 8 sites in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties for a total of 20 new survey sites in our first year!!!
Another exciting development is the inclusion of several new partners into the Reef Check California network. We wish to welcome the dive programs of Humboldt State University, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Carmel High School, Santa Barbara Channel Keeper, the University of California Santa Barbara Research Experience and Education Facility, and the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific as our first institutional partners to join the monitoring network. Each of these groups has completed at least one Reef Check California survey and/or training and many will be offering the course to their divers on an ongoing basis. Finally, I am pleased to announce that our first California brochure has been printed. Thanks to the generous folks at Quiksilver, our brochure will help to spread the word about our program.
The dive season is winding down which will give us a much needed break from field work to prepare for 2007. New additions for next year will include trainings throughout the state (northern and southern California), recertification protocols for Reef Check California certified divers, and a new and improved website that will include online training and testing materials and a forum for divers to stay connected and organize surveys. Most exciting to me will be the opportunity to analyze our first year?s dataset and map out potential survey locations throughout the entire state.
On the funding side, I am pleased to announce that we have received start-up funds to expand the program into southern California and a grant from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund to expand the program into northern California. Although foundation grants help us immensely, it is your support through our 1000 Diver Campaign that remains the heart and soul of the program. Please remember to renew your memberships or give the gift of a Reef Check membership to your friends and family this holiday season.
|Reef Check Teams in Action|
Reef Check Philippines Hosts ?Visions of the Reef? to Garner Support for Local Reefs
On September 15, Reef Check Philippines organized “Visions of the Reef”, a fundraising photo and film exhibit held at the Rockwell Loft in Manila. The event aimed to increase public awareness of the dazzling beauty of the country?s coral reefs and the need to protect them, and to raise funds for Reef Check?s activities such as training divers and fishermen to monitor reef health and the establishment of marine protected areas.
?Visions of the Reef? featured the stunning and award-winning photos of underwater photographer Gutsy Tuason and the beautiful footage from cinematographers Marissa Floirendo and Carina Escudero. Ballet Philippines, Cynthia Alexander and Pinikpikan provided musical performances. Dr. Domingo Ochavillo, Executive Director of Reef Check Philippines, gave an overview of Reef Check activities to conserve coral reefs. The guest speaker, Mr. Federico Lopez, President of First Gen, spoke eloquently on the need for corporate responsibility for marine conservation especially since the Philippines sits at the global center of coral reef biodiversity. The event was hosted by celebrity Paolo Abrera and actress-model Angel Aquino, and presenters included Studio 23, Conservation International Sulu-Sulawesi Conservation Program, DHL, Jewelmer, Aquamundo, First Philippine Conservation Inc., Newsbreak, Hewlett Packard, Manila Bulletin, The Radio Partners Inc., and Campaigns Social Response. Other sponsors included Sea Air, TechnoMarine, Tris-Star, Direct Aquatic, Cuervo, CPKelco, Davao Pearl Farm Resort, El Nido Resorts, Solana Bezo Resort, Alegre Beach Resort, Ocean Adventure, Captn Gregg's Resort, Taal Lake Yatch Club, Oceana Resort and Garden Spa.
The celebrities and public figures who lent their time for the event?s cause included Margie Moran-Floirendo, Richard Guttierez, Amanda Griffin and the environmental policy senator Jamby Madrigal.
Reef Check Australia Partners with Australian Government
Reef Check and Earthwatch Join Forces for Thailand Expeditions
If you are interested in joining one of the 2007 Thailand expeditions already scheduled, visit http://www.earthwatch.org/site/pp2.asp?c=dsJSK6PFJnH&b=1170773 for more information and booking details.
Monitoring South Sinai?s Coral Reefs
Reef scientists at the Red Sea Environmental Centre (RSEC) in Dahab (South Sinai, Gulf of Aqaba), are currently observing a human impact on the reefs of Dahab of apparently substantial magnitude. Their observations are based on sightings from numerous dives, snorkelling transects and near-shore inspections and reveal almost daily violations of National Parks' regulations. Frequent violations include net and line fishing within reef areas, mechanical coral damage by fishermen as well as recreational snorkelers and divers, and solid waste pollution. Due to these sightings, the scientists felt a pressing need for thorough documentation of the overall health status of the coral reefs and their linked habitats.
It is clear that such a monitoring effort demands excellent skills from the volunteers. There are some eligibility criteria, such as diving experience and adequate biological knowledge. Experience from former participation in Reef Check surveys will add to one?s qualification, but is not a must. Training is provided and the identification skills of each participant are tested before the start of the surveys to ensure success of the monitoring campaign and the reliability of the results.
The ?Dahab Reef Monitoring? will not only provide core data for the global Reef Check database, but is particularly intended to serve as a basic tool in conservation management of the South Sinai coastal environment. The data will provide greater detail, specificity and validity for interpretation, better detectability of changes in reef health and thus assist resource managers of the protected areas in design and implementation of environmental action plans. The procedures of the ?Dahab Reef Monitoring? are by no means restricted to Dahab and its surroundings, but may well be applied to other reef sites both along the Gulf of Aqaba and further sites along Egyptian Red Sea shores. For information or to find out how you can help: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reef Check 2006 in the Negril Marine Park, Jamaica
As part of an effort to improve coral reef monitoring and reporting on the status of coral reefs in Jamaica, a team of scientists and volunteers led by the Caribbean Coastal Data Centre, Centre for Marine Sciences, University of the West Indies visited Negril, Jamaica on September 23-24 and collected data from reef sites at Bloody Bay, Ireland Pen, Sandy Cay, Grand Lido, Little Bay and El Punto de Negrilo within the Negril Marine Park, located on the western tip of the island of Jamaica. Two diving teams of nine individuals each conducted the monitoring. The team members were drawn from a number of organizations based in Jamaica, and worked in close collaboration with the staff of the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society (NCRPS), an NGO responsible for the management of the Negril Marine Park. Peace Corps Volunteers were also trained during the period. All team members participated in data collection and surveys were conducted throughout the weekend, involving 6 sites at two depths.
Preliminary data analyses indicated a range of coral cover from a high of approximately 23% at El Punto de Negrilo to a low of 1% at Sandy Cay. Cover by Nutrient Indicator Algae (NIA) ranged from 61% at the El Punto de Negrilo shallow site to a low of 15% at the Little Bay deep site. Bloody Bay, the best reef site selected, had a hard coral cover of 14% at the shallow site and a NIA percentage of 24% and 40% at shallow and deep sites, respectively. The revision in the Reef Check methodology to include all algae in the NIA category has resulted in a dramatic increase in NIA readings for Bloody Bay.
Fish populations were low at all sites. Fish from the Haemulidae (Grunts) family were observed more often than other families, followed by fish from the Lutjanidae (Snapper) family. At Bloody Bay, the fish moved towards the diver suggesting that there was fish feeding activity in the area. Due to the high incidence of spear fishing in Jamaica, fish generally move away from divers.