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Some of you may be familiar with Reef Check California (RCCA). Very
briefly, we rely on specially trained volunteer divers from around the
state to assist with unbiased scientific data collection of
California's rocky reefs. We then pass along this data to resource
managers so they can determine the best methods of managing our ocean
resources. We have recently announced our 2009 training dates and we
are looking for dedicated divers to join the Reef Check team to help
us accomplish our ambitious 2009 survey goals.
To date, Reef Check California has trained and certified over 300
volunteer divers comprised of a diverse group of ocean users including
recreational divers, commercial urchin fishermen, lifeguards, marine
educators, police divers and university students. In 2008 alone, over
170 individual divers completed 73 surveys at 60 sites along
California's coast. In three short years, RCCA divers have completed
over 6000 transects and recorded over 50,000 fishes, 60,000
invertebrates and 30,000 algae.
If you are interested in collecting data on our local rocky reefs and
getting more out of your dives, this may be the perfect fit for you.
Participants will learn about our local ecosystems, will meet
like-minded divers and will be able to participate in our regular
survey dives which will ultimately help improve marine management by
providing much needed data.
2009 Southern California Training dates:
* Santa Barbara Training: May 2/3 (classroom and pool) and May 16/17
* Los Angeles Training: April 4/5 (classroom and pool) and April
18/19 (boat dives)
* Orange County Training: June 6/7 (classroom and pool) and June
13/14 (boat dives)
* San Diego Training: July 11/12 (classroom and pool) and July 18/19
The trainings take place over two weekends: The first weekend
consists of classroom and pool activities. The second weekend
consists of 6 dives over two days. You will become very familiar with
many of California's marine species of fish, invertebrates and
seaweed. All training materials (transect, data slate, compass,
calipers, manual, field guide flash cards), boat costs and NAUI
specialty certification cards are included in the
training. Survey dives take place statewide throughout the year, with
local dives taking place a few times per month. Prospective divers do
have over 30 lifetime dives with 15 dives taking place in California
or other locations with water temps under 68° F.
If you have any questions about the project or need more details about
the training, please don't hesitate to contact me. You can check our
for more information on course specifics, prerequisites and exactly
what's included in the training here: Reef Check California Training Course Outline Spring-Summer 2008 . Also, if
you'd like to know what it's like to be a Reef Check volunteer diver,
I can put you in touch with a local volunteer or two and they can tell
you about their experiences. I have heard from several volunteers
that their diving has never been the same after becoming a Reef Check
But a quick clarification: Reef Check actually charges either $200 or $300 for the training, which is valued at over $590. This training includes the materials previously listed and either an overnight boat trip ($300 price) or 2 single day trips ($200 price), for a total of 6 dives in the field. Most boat charters charge this amount, or typicall more than this amount, for just the two days of diving!