Volunteer Divers Help Monitor Marine Protected Areas

A group of Reef Check volunteers. Photo: Reef Check California

Researchers:

Jan Freiwald
Reef Check Foundation
jfreiwald@reefcheck.org
831.345.8167

Gregor Hodgson
Reef Check Foundation
gregorh@reefcheck.org
310.230.2371

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Revised:

January 15, 2013

January 15, 2013

Contact: Nicole Lee, nicolelee@ucsd.edu, 858-822-5334

The non-profit organization, Reef Check California, is doing its part to monitor the health of California reefs and kelp forests with the help of volunteer divers. The program collects data both within and outside marine protected areas (MPAs) in order to measure their success over time.

LiDAR at work

Two divers coming in from MPA monitoring. Photo: Reef Check California.

As part of their monitoring, the divers count and measure specific types of fish, invertebrates and algae. Reef Checkís volunteers began monitoring the region in 2006 and have already completed more than 50 surveys. In 2012, they conducted eight surveys at six of the programís long-term monitoring sites.

In order to join the effort, divers must participate in Reef Checkís training and certification that covers research methods as well as safe diving practices.

For more information about this and other California Sea Grant supported MPA monitoring, visit our online program directory.