Reef Check is a volunteer programme to protect coral reefs enthusiastically supported by hundreds of scientists and divers around the world. Reef Check International started in 1996 as a volunteer initiative, and since then has been mainly supported by volunteer work.
The Reef Check Foundation was established in 1997 to halt and reverse the global trend of coral reef deterioration. Reef Check is a non-profit organization that maintains the world's largest coral reef monitoring and conservation programme.
Rehabilitation & Conservation
Present in more than 80 countries, a network of scientists and volunteer divers collects standardized data that is evaluated by regional coordinators and at Reef Check headquarters in the USA. International teams work with communities, governments and corporations to scientifically observe coral reefs, rehabilitate damaged reefs and conserve intact reefs worldwide.
Mysterious Natural Wonders
Coral reefs are the second most diverse ecosystem in the world. They are economically valuable as a source of food and basic components of medicines; they protect coastlines from erosion by waves and storms. Coral islands and their white beaches attract millions of sun-hungry tourists, many of the 7 million dive enthusiasts come to see colourful corals and large reef fish. Coral reefs are the largest biological structures on Earth and can even be seen from space. Despite their importance, little has been done to understand how coral reef organisms react to human activity.
Lack of Comprehensive Global Reef Surveys
In addition, there are only a few reef scientists who are therefore rarely able to conduct surveys. Therefore, the database of coral reef health is very patchy and difficult to compare. The solution would be a global survey, which should take place annually over a defined period - with voluntary help from non-scientists. Reef Check is a global voluntary initiative of recreational diving teams led by experienced marine scientists. There are two goals:
1. to raise public awareness of the value of coral reefs, the threats to their health and possible solutions to these problems 2. to obtain a scientifically proven overview of the degree of human influence on the reefs worldwide.
Reef Check Needs YOU!
In 1997, Reef Check teams conducted the first global survey of the health status of coral reefs. More than 750 recreational divers, who participated voluntarily and free of charge, were trained and instructed by 100 volunteer scientists. More than 300 reefs in 31 countries were surveyed. For the first time, the results of Reef Check 97 provided tangible evidence of the serious damage to the reefs on a global scale. Since then, reef check investigations have been carried out in all coral reef areas worldwide every year. If you are a diver, marine scientist or just someone who loves coral reefs, then Reef Check needs YOU! Anyone who can dive safely can actively participate in Reef Check Surveys.