Congratulations to the May 2013 REEF class, you are now successfully REEF trained and can start diving and collecting data that will help conserve our oceans!
Scroll down to see a schedule of upcoming free classes.
Send us an email here to sign up.
Reef Monitoring Project
So many divers see something while underwater and ask each other “Did you see that?” or “What do you think that was?” To help educate divers about our local marine life, the San Diego Oceans Foundation has teamed up with REEF(Reef Environmental Education Foundation). By serving as a REEF Field Station, SDOF trains local divers and snorkelers in the identification of a variety of fish and invertebrate species that call Southern California ‘home’.
The search begins as soon as the diver or snorkeler enters the water. And the goal? To find as many species as possible! At the end of each dive/snorkeling event, volunteers submit a survey with each species found, along with their relative abundance [Single (1), Few (2-10), Many (11-100), Abundant (>100) or ‘Present’]. The information you gain is then entered into a publicly accessible database on www.reef.org. Here, data can be used by the general public, fisheries management agencies and may even help in maintaining Marine Protected Areas in Southern California.
Information gathered through this program not only contributes to an international database used by scientists and government agencies, but also helps divers better understand their underwater world as well as find great dive spots with lots of life!
Dive with a purpose!
The Reef Monitoring Project gives you a chance to get involved in local conservation efforts by studying and reporting marine life off San Diego’s coast! By taking our training courses and becoming a ‘citizen scientist’, you will be contributing to the data collection required for fisheries management, the implementation of Marine Protected Areas and much more!
Just imagine YOUR survey helping to protect the ocean you love!!!
• Surveys are completed on YOUR schedule. We reward our top surveyors with prizes like free boat dives and air fills each quarter…so get out there and get started!
In order to participate in our program, you must have completed a minimum of 20 dives.
- The first step in becoming a ‘Reefer’ is to complete our Volunteer Application.
- Then register for FREE at Reef.org
- Then, send us an email here to sign up to attend one of our fish or invertebrate training courses, where we will show you how to conduct an underwater survey as well as identify many of the marine species commonly seen in Southern California. Come, check out the marine diversity that the tourists travel from miles around to see!
Upcoming 2014 Classes:
Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 6PM – Fish ID
Wed, Feb 18, 2015 at 6PM – Invertebrate/Algae ID
Wed, March 18, 2015 at 6PM – Fish ID
Wed, April 15, 2015 at 6PM – Invertebrate/Algae ID
Wed, May 20, 2015 at 6PM – Fish ID
Wed, June 17, 2015 at 6PM – Invertebrate/Algae ID
Wed, July 15, 2015 at 6PM – Fish ID
Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 6PM – Invertebrate/Algae ID
Wed, Sep 16, 2015 at 6PM – Fish ID
Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 6PM – Invertebrate/Algae ID
All classes take place at:
Ocean Enterprises7710 Balboa Ave
San Diego, CA
Underwater identification may seem a little intimidating at first, but we’re here to help! Send us an email to sign up.
The Great Annual Fish Count (GAFC) serves to raise awareness about marine conservation efforts, introduce new volunteers to the program and give existing volunteers a chance to meet others and refine their skills.
Out of the area or can’t attend our event? Do more by surveying on your own schedule!
Learning never ends! On the last Wednesday of every month, SDOF hosts a continuing education event called ‘AquaTalk’. These events include exciting lectures by local scientists, talks from professional conservationists, exhibits by renowned photographers and behind the scenes tours of local marine facilities and collections. Please check out our Calendar of Events for more information.
Reef Monitoring Project Partners
|Reef Environmental Education Foundation, also known as REEF, is a grass-roots organization that seeks to conserve marine ecosystems by educating, enlisting and enabling divers and other marine enthusiasts to become active ocean stewards and citizen scientists. SDOF is San Diego’s official REEF Field Station and is responsible for training local divers and snorkelers on our local marine ecology as well as proper survey methods.|
|Horizon Charters is made up of divers, photographers and marine naturalists that have years of experience in local waters. All of their crew members have extensive dive safety training including Paramedic and EMT certifications. Marissa Dive Charters generously donates local boat tickets to our top Reef Monitoring Volunteers every quarter as well as for the Great Annual Fish Count event every July.|
|Ocean Enterprises provides the use of their classrooms for our monthly training sessions as well as a variety of donations for REEF events.|
Reef Monitoring Resources
Practice makes perfect! We want to provide our volunteers with as many resources as possible to help them continue to improve on their identification abilities, complete underwater surveys and contribute to our breadth of knowledge with regards to the ocean.
REEF-Selected Species (Southern California)
Invertebrate & Algal Identification
Invertebrate & Algae ID Quiz
Fish Certification Levels
Fish ID – Level 2
Fish ID – Level 3
Fish ID – Level 4
Fish ID – Level 5
Species Review (All Fish)
Fish – Level 2 Quiz
Fish – Level 3 Quiz
Fish – Level 4 Quiz
Fish – Level 5 Quiz
The San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve, Volume 1: La Jolla Cove
Judith Lea Garfield
The San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve, Volume 2: La Jolla Shores & Canyon
Judith Lea Garfield
Seaweeds of the Pacific Coast: Common Marine Algae from Alaska to Baja California
Jennifer Mondragon and Jeff Mondragon
Guide to Marine Invertebrates: Alaska to Baja California
Daniel W. Gotshall
Eastern Pacific Nudibranchs: A Guide to the Opisthobranchs from Alaska to Central America
Daniel W. Behrens and Alicia Hermosillo
Pacific Coast Inshore Fishes (4th Edition)
Daniel W. Gotshall
Guide to the Coastal Marine Fishes of California: California Fish Bulletin Number 157
Daniel J. Miller and Robert N. Lea (CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, Marine Resources Region)
Coastal Fish Identification: California to Alaska
Paul Humann & Ned DeLoach
Probably More Than You Want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast
Sharks, Rays, and Chimaeras of California
David A. Ebert
Whales and Other Marine Mammals of California and Baja