a directory of ways to participate in sea exploration

REEF Volunteer Survey

A project that empowers scuba divers and snorkelers to collect and report information on marine fish populations, sea turtles, algae and invertebrate species in temperate reef areas. Collected data is individually validated for quality and then used for scientific research by marine ecologists from NOAA, local governments and environmental protection organizations. From this quality-controlled and publicly-accessible database, scientists can more accurately survey species distribution and population trends across a variety of areas. For a complete list of scientific papers and projects produced using the REEF database so far, browse the Publications and Monitoring Projects.

Surveys can be conducted in a variety of temperate reef areas across the United States (including Hawaii), Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Bahamas, Galapagos, and the South Pacific. The only materials needed to collect data if you’re scuba diving or snorkeling is an underwater slate and pencil and a good reference book/online resource (these materials are available on the REEF store). On your next dive, record any fish, sea turtles, algae or invertebrates you find on the underwater slate using the simple Roving Diver Technique (RDT). Then, submit your data online.

Project owners + coordinators:
Martha Klitzkie, general manager

To participate and learn more, visit:

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Category: observing.

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