Over the course of the next few months we’ll be working on behalf of Reef Check Australia to help pilot their new ReefSearch program.
Reef Check Australia are an award-winning, not-for-profit environmental organisation that engages the Australian community in hands-on reef monitoring, management and conservation. Their trained volunteer program visit monitoring sites annually to collect data about substrate cover, key indicator invertebrates, reef health impacts and fish abundance to look at how these factors are changing over time.
They have people working in over 90 countries around the world creating a framework for global comparisons of reef health – in other words they’re helping to look after our wonderful Great Barrier Reef!
Reef Check is a new identification and observation program that can be used by anyone snorkelling or scuba diving. You use one of their underwater observation slates to record what you see when you jump in the water, what makes up the reef, what’s living on the reef and what’s impacting any reef you visit. I suppose it a slightly simplified version of the work that’s carried out by their trained divers when they conduct their reef health surveys.
Best Expedition in the World is helping to pilot the new program. Reef Check is looking for public feedback about how to make their new slates even better before they fully implement the project with an online database where people can share information and underwater photos they collect. We worked together on Lady Elliot island and will be meeting up again throughout the expedition. Here’s a PDF of the work that was done there.
Interested in helping? Corporate sponsors can Adopt a Reef and everyone can Adopt a Coral Polyp to help build this new community initiative making it easier for everyone to take an active role in understanding, appreciating and looking after the Great Barrier Reef.