Reef Check’s grassroots approach to conservation and preservation of reefs globally is to empower local communities to work towards restoring and conserving reef habitats and their biological communities, and to develop sustainable fisheries. Healthy reefs provide protection to coastlines, economic and recreational opportunities, and a sustainable food supply.
• The ocean covers 71% of Earth’s surface
• More than 50% of the world’s population lives less than 60km from coast
• 75% of Earth’s species are found in the ocean
Top Threats to California’s Reefs
• Global warming
• Dead zones, Pollution (too many nutrients in water from fertilizer, sewage)
The Quiksilver Foundation has recently helped fund the Reef Check California program. This Program (RCCA) empowers Californians through education, training & community engagement, to become active stewards of local marine environments. Grassroots approach to improving marine resource management by engaging community in the existing marine management process:
1. Reef Check California scientists train and supervise teams of volunteers throughout the state to conduct surveys of subtidal rocky reefs and educate the public about marine ecology and sustainable management.
2. Teams of citizen-scientist volunteers collect data on 75 key species of reef fishes, invertebrates & seaweeds.
3. The results of these surveys are compiled, analyzed and made available to the public in RCCA’s web-based Nearshore Ecological Database (NED, http://ned.reefcheck.org) and provided to state marine managers to inform and improve their management actions and conservation decisions.