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Divetalking » Adv. Open Water, Artificial Reefs, Boats, Diver, Events, Fish, Manatee, Photography, Reefs, Report, Specialties, Stories, Training, Videography, Wrecks » Making It Count – December 2010

Making It Count – December 2010

As 2010 comes to a close, please remember REEF in your year-end giving.

For those members who have already contributed during our Fall Fundraising Campaign, a big thank you! If you haven’t yet, donate today using our secure online form, call REEF HQ at 305-852-0030, or mail in your donation to REEF, PO Box 246, Key Largo, FL 33037.

Members who donate $250 or more will receive a limited, signed, and numbered print from REEF co-founder and renowned underwater photographer, Paul Humann. This year’s print is of a beautiful coral grouper.

Happy holidays and a peaceful new year to you all.




Putting It to Work: Who’s Using REEF Data, December 2010

By Christy Pattengill-Semmens, Director of Science

Every month, scientists, government agencies, and other groups request raw data from REEF’s Fish Survey Project database. Here is a sampling of who has asked for REEF data recently and what they are using it for:

– A researcher from Florida State University requested data from sites along the west coast of Florida to evaluate how fish species richness is influenced by the presence of certain grouper species.

– A scientist from the Smithsonian Institute is mapping the distribution and co-occurance of garden eel species in the western Atlantic.

– A researcher from NOAA Fisheries is looking at the species distribution of Gray Snapper.


The Faces of REEF: Member Spotlight, Georgia Arrow

By Sasha Medlen, REEF Membership Coordinator

REEF members are at the heart of our grassroots marine conservation programs. Over 43,000 divers, snorkelers, students, and armchair naturalists stand behind our mission.

This month we highlight Georgia Arrow (REEF member since 2002). Georgia lives in Portland, Oregon, has conducted 686 REEF surveys in four different regions, and is a Level 5 Expert surveyor in the Pacific. She has the most surveys of anyone in the west coast Pacific region. Here’s what Georgia had to say about REEF:

When and how did you first volunteer with REEF?

I was unfortunate (or fortunate) enough to get an ear infection during my Open Water certification weekend. I was not allowed to participate in this new and exciting experience for 2 months! I checked at the dive shop and found that there was to be a Fish ID class and immediately signed up thinking it would be a lot more fun to dive if I actually knew what I was looking at-I found this to be true when birdwatching so it made sense that fishwatching would be the same …


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Outstanding in their Field: Featured REEF Field Station, Marker Buoy Dive Club

By Janna Nichols, REEF Outreach Coordinator

REEF is proud to partner with over 130 dive shops, dive clubs, individuals, and other organizations as REEF Field Stations.

This month we feature Marker Buoy Dive Club in Washington, which has been a Field Station for about a year. The Marker Buoy Dive Club was founded in 1961 and some of its club members have been diving in Puget Sound since the 1960s and 1970s, so they are very aware of long-term changes in some local fish populations. The Marker Buoy Dive Club currently has about 145 members. They have a dedicated group of members who encourage club participation in the REEF program and in other local activities …


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Spread the Word…

By Janna Nichols, REEF Outreach Coordinator

Would you like to help spread the word about REEF to your dive club, dive shop, local nature center, etc.? We now have a presentation about the REEF Volunteer Survey program in your area, complete with speaker notes. It takes about 30-45 minutes, and goes over how simple it is to conduct a survey, and how to get started. PERFECT for groups wanting to get involved with REEF but weren’t quite sure how to go about it! Let us know if you’d be interested in showing it to your group – email


REEF Releases Lionfish Cookbook

By Lad Akins, REEF Director of Operations

REEF announces the release of “The Lionfish Cookbook”, available for $16.95 online at The book is a unique blend of 45 tantalizing recipes, background on the lionfish invasion and its impacts, as well as information on how to safely catch handle and prepare the fish. Invasive lionfish are a new threat to western Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico waters. Lionfish densities in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and the East Coast of the United States are on the rise due to their lack of predators and prolific, year-round reproduction. Thriving lionfish populations pose a serious risk to marine ecosystems through their predation on native marinelife including both commercially and ecologically important species. That lionfish are delicious table fare with a delicate buttery flavor may be our best hope for helping to remove the fish and minimize its impacts. As Bermuda has so aptly coined, we need to “Eat ‘em to Beat ‘em”! Proceeds from the sale of this book will support REEF’s marine conservation and lionfish research and removal programs.


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