Stretching over 1,000 miles, California’s coastline is the gateway to a unique and often under-appreciated marine ecosystem. Offshore, just below the surface, kelp forests and rocky reefs play home to a vast array of marine life supporting a diverse array of consumptive and non-consumptive human uses. Unfortunately, similar to reefs around the world, the rapid growth of California’s population, coastal development, pollution, and overfishing have placed increasing demands on our nearshore resources. Many organisms that were previously common in high numbers, like abalone, are now almost gone.
Reef Check California aims to build a network of informed and involved citizens who support the sustainable use and conservation of our nearshore marine resources. To accomplish this, volunteers are trained to carry out surveys of nearshore reefs providing data on the status of key indicator species.
Coming up: interview with Colleen Wiskniewski, Area Manager for Southern California Reef Check.