Scientists and volunteer divers with Reef Check California will survey rocky reefs and kelp forests to document distribution and abundance of fishes, invertebrates and algae. Data will be collected both inside and outside of MPAs to provide a baseline characterization of this important ecosystem feature in the region. In addition to the above metrics, researchers will also document size for economically important species, such as red sea urchins and abalone. Engaging and educating the public is another important outcome of this project. The volunteer diver trainings include scientific training on reef ecology and conservation, along with techniques for identifying and collecting data on 73 species. Strict quality assurance and control procedures ensure that the collected data are of high quality and scientifically useful. Researchers will integrate six years of data collection (2006-present) with newly collected data to evaluate changes over time. Reef Check will also make recommendations for long-term monitoring metrics of rocky reef and kelp forest ecosystem health.



Researchers described their findings from this project in a technical report, released in July 2017. Click below to read the report.

FINAL REPORT: Baseline Characterization of Rocky Reefs and Kelp Forests by Reef Check California



Data from this project are coming soon! You will be able access the data through the OceanSpaces map tool and data archive to learn more about each data package.