February 21, 2008

Reef Check Partners With Project AWARE Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 25, 2008
Contact: Tiffany Leite, Project AWARE Foundation          Contact: Jenny Mihaly, Reef Check
Phone: +1 949 858 7657 Ext. 2448                                       Phone: +1 310 230 2371
Email: tiffany.leite@projectaware.org                                   Email: rcinfo@reefcheck.org
Leading Conservation Organizations Join Forces for Coral Reefs
Project AWARE and Reef Check partner for global reef protection.
Washington, DC January 25, 2008 – Two top nonprofit conservation organizations, Project AWARE Foundation and Reef Check Foundation, have formally partnered with one mutual goal – to protect coral reefs around the world.
Project AWARE and Reef Check both rely on dedicated volunteer divers to collect relevant data for their monitoring programs. Project AWARE’s CoralWatch monitoring, implemented in partnership with the University of Queensland, Australia in 2005, collects information on the intensity of coral bleaching and recovery. Since 1997, Reef Check has carried out an annual global scientific survey of human impacts on coral reefs. Project AWARE and Reef Check would like to encourage all divers to volunteer for these programs and help track the condition of coral reefs.
“The joint efforts of Project AWARE and Reef Check aim to boost public awareness and action for critical conservation initiatives,” said Project AWARE Foundation, Director, Jenny Miller Garmendia. “Volunteer divers are at the core of these monitoring programs and are natural advocates for declining underwater ecosystems.”
The partnership was announced at the launch of the year-long International Year of the Reef 2008 campaign in Washington, DC this week.
According to Dr. Gregor Hodgson, Founder and Executive Director, Reef Check, “Reef Check is very pleased to be partnering with Project AWARE because we share the same goals of involving more volunteer divers in coral reef monitoring and conservation. All of the data gathered will be used to interpret trends in global coral status.”
Project AWARE Foundation, a registered nonprofit organization, is dedicated to conserving underwater environments through education, advocacy and action. For more than 16 years, Project AWARE has worked in direct partnership with divers and water enthusiasts to protect aquatic resources in 175 countries and territories of the world. www.projectaware.org
Reef Check Foundation is an international non-profit organization dedicated to conservation of two ecosystems: tropical coral reefs and California rocky reefs. With headquarters in Los Angeles and volunteer teams in more than 90 countries, Reef Check’s mission is to protect and rehabilitate reefs worldwide. www.reefcheck.org