March 30, 2009

Reef Check California March 2009 Update

Recipient of the 2008 Golden Slate Award, Dirk Burcham, with Colleen, RCCA Southern California Regional Manager

By Reef Check California Director of Science Cyndi Dawson

Spring has sprung and we are ready for another great year of Reef Check California! RCCA staff were busy this month putting the final touches on improvements to all aspects of the program. One of the big projects we undertook, with help from our HQ staff, was to finish our online species ID tests. Anyone can take the tests to find out what they know about some of the common rocky reef residents in California. You do not have to be an RCCA Diver to participate, so visit the Online Quiz, sign in or set up an account, and see how you do! All RCCA Divers take these quizzes each year during their annual recertification and the tests are an important part of our data quality assurance and control program.

Over 190 individual divers collected data as part of the Reef Check California Team in 2008. This year, to recognize the dedication of the Top Transector for the state, we awarded the Golden Slate Award to Dirk Burcham who completed 156 transects in 2008. Dirk surveyed over 3 miles underwater last year alone!!! Our Golden Slate awardees retroactively are Peter Ottersbach for 2006 and John Manos for 2007. Congratulations!

Training classes start this month and there are still a few spots in some of the RCCA Trainings throughout the state. There is no better way to take direct action to improve marine management in California than to become a trained RCCA Diver. If you are an experienced certified diver, please visit our training page and sign-up, the spots are going fast! If you are a non-diver and are interested in taking the RCCA Training Course, please contact for more information and pricing.

We continue to be on the front lines of improving marine management in California and need your support! Your donations to RCCA go directly to supporting the collection of the critical data needed to sustainably manage California’s marine resources. If you aren’t a member, please join us!