November 25, 2008

Reef Check California November 2008 Update

November marks the final wrap-up of the survey season. We have a few diehard Reef Checkers still completing surveys as I write this, but the 2009 survey statistics to date are truly impressive and beyond our wildest expectations for only our third survey season! Reef Check CA divers completed over 70 surveys at over 60 sites spanning from Crescent City to San Diego. The dedication and commitment of RCCA divers and members has allowed us to have the data in three short years to truly start to take an active role informing marine management in California. As we were finishing up the data collection and posting onto the Nearshore Ecosystem Database (NED) we had the opportunity to present RCCA’s accomplishments to date to the Ocean Protection Council at their recent meeting in San Pedro. You can see the testimony here (navigate to the beginning portion of the meeting on Nov. 21 during Sam Schuchat’sreport). RCCA continues our close collaboration with marine management agencies to ensure the quality data we are collecting is making a real difference.
This month we also completed cruises on both National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) research vessels. Our close collaboration with marine managers, scientifically robust protocols, and high data quality standards has given RCCA divers access to these research vessels. The vessel crews, who almost solely work with professional scientists, made sure to let us know they were very impressed with the professionalism of RCCA staff and divers. Vessel costs are one of the largest expenses to conduct subtidal surveys; the support of these agencies covers the boat operations costs and allows RCCA divers a unique opportunity to operate on scientific research vessels. We look forward to continuing to build these strong partnerships which will help RCCA to expand our monitoring network in the future.
 You can check out what our divers have been up to at the following:
Nor/Cen Cal -11/1-2 Cruise on NOAA vessel AAUS divers
Ocean Cove is done! Amazing Day, Amazing Divers
LA: Avalon Dive Park, Saturday November 1
Channel Islands 4 day survey on DFG boat 11/3-6 DONE!!
We continue to be on the front lines of improving marine management in California and we need your continued support! Your donations to RCCA go directly to supporting the collection of the critical data needed to manage California’s marine resources sustainable. So if you aren’t a member join us and if you are a diver, sign up for a training in 2009!