December 19, 2018

Reef Check 2018: Your Help Makes a Difference

Dear friends and supporters,

Thank you for being part of our Reef Check family and contributing to helping us achieve our goals in education, research and conservation in 2018. We could not do this work without your support, especially at such a critical time in our ocean’s history.

This has been an eventful year at Reef Check. We have grown our education and citizen science programs worldwide and hundreds of volunteers have worked tirelessly for the conservation of reef ecosystems against devastating impacts such as overfishing, pollution and climate change. Our ocean climate change project has quickly become one of our central programs and we are planning to deploy over 400 temperature sensors on coral reefs worldwide next year. Earlier this year, Dania Trespalacios joined our team as Reef Check’s new Tropical Program Director.

We are very grateful to you for contributing to our successes. Just a few highlights of what your support has made possible in 2018 are below.

2018 Highlights

♦ We conducted over 260 coral reef surveys in 22 countries around the world;

♦ In California, we monitored over 100 reefs – more than in any previous year;

♦ We certified over 600 new tropical EcoDivers, 40 Trainers and 4 Course Directors in 29 countries around the world and almost 300 divers in California;

♦ Our data informed the response to the enduring crises in the northern California kelp forests and we are working with local stakeholders to develop recovery strategies;

♦ We conducted seven EcoExpeditions – two in California to the Northern Channel Islands and along the Big Sur coast, and five worldwide to Oman, the Maldives, Malaysia, Indonesia and Colombia;

♦ We deployed over 60 temperature sensors along the California coast to track the effects of climate change on kelp forests and collected the first year of data on ocean acidification;

♦ A new Reef Check team was established in Hawaii, and a new RC organization formed in Brunei;

♦ Reef Check Jordan certified the first female EcoDivers in the country;

♦ Reef Check partnered with USX to certify veterans as EcoDivers during a special training in Florida;

♦ EMBARC, our on-board marine biology education program, taught 500 middle and high school students in Los Angeles about the oceans and the threats they face;

♦ We celebrated the third International Year of the Reef with events throughout the year hosted by Reef Check and our teams worldwide, including a nationwide beach cleanup by Reef Check Malaysia which removed over 16,000 lbs of trash.

As we look forward into 2019, the single greatest threat reefs are facing is global climate change. We need your help to continue Reef Check’s global efforts to educate young people and to conserve the oceans that we all depend on. Please consider ending 2018 with a tax-deductible contribution to our Wish Upon A Sea Star Campaign centered around our work against climate change impacts: or by mailing a check to our address below.

Your generous contributions make our work possible. We wish you a very Happy Holiday season and a peaceful New Year.

Jan Freiwald
Executive Director