Plans Gear Up As Reef Watch 2014 Approaches

June 17, 2014

Reef Watch 2014 is scheduled for Saturday, June 28th and members of the community are invited to become Citizen Scientists and participate in an island-wide effort to help monitor the health of Bermuda’s reef systems.

A spokesperson said, “Excitement continues to mount as the Bermuda Zoological Society and lead sponsor, Hiscox, prepare for Reef Watch 2014, scheduled for Saturday, June 28th.

“Through Reef Watch, members of the community are invited to become Citizen Scientists and participate in an island-wide effort to help monitor the health of Bermuda’s unique and vital reef systems, all while supporting the work of the Bermuda Reef Ecosystem Analysis and Monitoring [BREAM] programme, led by Dr. Thaddeus Murdoch.

“Last year, the event saw more than 100 people participate, surveying 35 different reef locations across the island, covering more than 500 sq. kms. of the Bermuda lagoon.

“This year, they would love to see 50 teams participate. Registering is easy – simply visit the Reef Watch Crowdrise page at www.crowdrise.com/reefwatch, and click on the “Set Up Your Fundraiser” button, where you can join an existing team, or start your own.

“Teams are assigned a reef to survey on the day, and are provided with the necessary training to successfully conduct a survey on the health of that reef. Teams must also provide their own water transport out to the reef.

“While the event provides an amazing experience for those who participate, as well as much needed data on the health of Bermuda’s reefs, Reef Watch also serves as a major fundraiser for reef conservation and protection.

“Teams are encouraged to raise a minimum of $500, 100% of which goes back to support the work of BREAM, by asking friends and family, as well as through corporate matching.

“The team that raises the most for the day is rewarded with prizes, so there is fierce competition to go above and beyond the $500. Last year that honour went to Team Faraway led by Tim Davidson, which raised more than $1400.”

Mr Davidson shared: “Taking part in Reef Watch last year was a rewarding experience that I highly recommend. Bermuda’s reefs are an important part of our ecosystem and Reef Watch allows participants ‎to expand their knowledge while collecting valuable data. It is also a fantastic way to spend a day on the water.”

Jeremy Pinchin, CEO of Hiscox, also participated in the event last year, along with his family: “I really enjoyed the opportunity to make a hands-on contribution, along with others from Hiscox, through the REEF Watch programme.

“Since coming to the island, my family and I continue to be in awe of the rich and colourful ocean environment that surrounds Bermuda. The opportunity to be a citizen scientist and help preserve the marine environment was an opportunity that I could not turn down.

“I am pleased that through the data collected, Dr. Murdoch and his team have been able to conclude that most of our reefs are healthy. Some however are only in a moderately healthy condition, which makes it all the more important that the REEF Watch work continues”

Training sessions for those interested in participating will be held at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum, and Zoo on Monday, June 23rd and Tuesday, June 24th at 6pm. Participants only need to attend one session.

The 2013 Reef Watch report is available on the BZS website on the BZS Reef Watch page in the Conservation section.

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Category: All, Environment

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  1. James says:

    Nice idea but if they didn’t charge $500 entry per team they might get more support. If I didn’t have to pay that I would start a team and I might raise the $500. I guess they only want RE people…..