Rocky Reefs Marks The Spot For Corina

Rocky Reefs Marks The Spot For Corina

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

At this weekend’s Monterey Beach SportsFest in Monterey Bay, California, there were numerous groups represented that work to help maintain and improve the marine environments where open water swimmers enjoy and explore.

One of the organizations, Reef Check Foundation was represented by a young American diver Corina Marks, a specialist in Coastal and Marine Science and Policy from the California State University at Monterey Bay.

The Reef Check Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to empowering people to save the world’s coral reefs and rocky reefs. “We train volunteer scuba divers on how to conduct environmental monitoring on fishes, algae and invertebrates. Reef Check California has citizen divers and volunteers all along the California coast from San Diego to Mendocino. These are people who love to dive, but also want to do something new like environmental surveys.”

Reef Check is an embodiment of citizen science. “Participating in citizen science is becoming very popular today. We are expanding to places like Baja California [in Mexico] to train other volunteer divers to do the monitoring of our reefs.”

Founded in 1996 by marine ecologist Dr. Gregor Hodgson, the Reef Check Foundation is dedicated to conservation of tropical coral reefs and California rocky reefs. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Reef Check has volunteer divers in more than 90 countries worldwide. Reef Check works to create partnerships among community volunteers, government agencies, businesses, universities and other non-profits.

Reef Check goals are to educate the public about the value of reef ecosystems and the current crisis affecting marine life; to create a global network of volunteer teams trained in Reef Check’s scientific methods who regularly monitor and report on reef health; to facilitate collaboration that produces ecologically sound and economically sustainable solutions; and to stimulate local community action to protect remaining pristine reefs and rehabilitate damaged reefs worldwide.

Reef Check’s fast-growing network has expanded throughout all tropical seas, and has played a major role in efforts to preserve and sustain reef ecosystems. In 2005, Reef Check launched its first temperate reef program in California. “I was always interested in our coral reefs,” said Marks. “But when I first came to Monterey Bay, I was not a cold-water diver, but I fell in love with kelp diving.”

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones