By Central Coast Manager Cyndi Dawson
On March 3, 2007, Reef Check California (RCCA) participated in the Sanctuary Currents Symposium held at the CSU Monterey Bay campus. This was the first public presentation of the data results from our first year of surveys and was very well received by all attendees of the Symposium. The Currents Symposium is an annual event for researchers, educators, students, and the public to learn about current research being conducted in the Monterey National Marine Sanctuary (Sanctuary). The symposium helps interested parties to better understand Sanctuary habitats and resources, as well as, keeping people involved, connected, and informed. The theme of this year’s symposium was ocean observing and highlighted stakeholders and scientific experts in this broad field of inquiry. Presenters discussed their latest findings in presentations and during the poster session which RCCA was a participant. The data RCCA presented from our first year supported that our training methods and protocols produce scientifically sound data. This is a key element to the success of RCCA data being used by resource managers. We received many compliments from local scientist on our program and our poster and a BIG thanks goes out to all the RCCA divers who participated in surveys last year!!! You are the reason we are continuing to grow and having great successes as we move into 2007. I would like to especially thank Ildiko Frank for all her analytical work on the poster; she not only was out last year collecting data but did the data analysis for the poster, so THANKS Ildiko for all your hard work!!! The Symposium really illustrated what great strides we made last year and what a broad base of support we have from wide ranging groups such as fisherman, agency scientists, academic scientists, and ocean users in general. Although sometimes these groups may have different perspectives everyone agrees that the more scientifically sound data resource managers have on California’s rocky reefs the better!!