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Reef Watch calls on citizen scientists
Published Sep 21, 2017 at 12:01 am (Updated Sep 21, 2017 at 7:14 am)
Reef Watch is looking for citizen scientists
A programme designed to conserve Bermuda’s reefs has called on citizen scientists to help evaluate the condition of Bermuda’s coral reefs and fish stocks.
Reef Watch, created by the Bermuda Zoological Society with sponsorship from reinsurer Hiscox, offers citizen scientists hands-on experience in reef surveys while creating a public portal to share information with the broader public, resource managers and policymakers.
Over four years, the initiative has raised $74,263 for coral reef conservation and research. This year it is due to take place on September 23 with a rain date of September 24.
A Reef Watch spokesperson said: “Coral reefs are the foundation of our marine ecosystem and they are in danger. Bermuda’s coral reefs provide shelter for a wide variety of marine life, they provide locals and visitors with recreation, they create sand for our beaches and serve as a buffer for our shorelines.”
A training video for potential “reef watchers” is available at https://youtu.be/2OqT1UyrpO4 and can be shared with team members to supplement information given on training nights, held at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo from 5.30pm tonight.
There will be a Reef Watch After Party on Trunk Island after the event with live music and BBQ.
Each team member is asked to raise a minimum $50 in sponsorship and to register on CrowdRise, thereby benefiting their boat’s overall fundraising total.
Reef Watch spokesperson said: “Boats are encouraged to head out at a time that is convenient for you and your team, but do check the weather first. We are estimating that each reef survey will take about an hour, not including travel time.
“Once your work as a citizen scientist below the surface is complete, make sure your dive slates are filled out completely and bring them to the Reef Watch BBQ at Trunk Island on Saturday, September 23.
“It is important that you return them quickly so our scientists can analyse data to provide some initial results that night.”