REEF is a fabulous charity that involves and educates anyone with an interest about the marine life of our oceans. They offer courses on how to identify what's living down there, both as on-line fishinars and in-person lectures for a number of interested local groups such as dive clubs. Once you know what you're seeing, you can partake in volunteer fish surveys, either on your own or as part of REEF-organised trips. They also carry out research into issues such as invasive lionfish. As a scuba diver, REEF have taught me so much about the fish and invertebrates I see when I dive, and taking part in their citizen science surveys makes my dives more fun and helps monitor the state of our sea life.
I love working & diving with the Reef team.
I feel safe, learn a lot about fish and at my best scuba diving with this group.
Great education program.
Creating Citizen Scientists to aide researchers
Very knowledgeable and helpful staff
I have learned so much about fish with their Fishinars-seminars targeted to different areas of fish identification and behaviour, and had been able to contribute to the citizen science by reporting a number of species in Fiji, and other places in the South Pacific as well as in Hawaii. This is an amazing organisation!
I first learned about REEF 3 years ago while on a dive trip. I am so grateful I did! This is an excellent organization, dedicated to the conservation of my beloved oceans and her creatures. The people at REEF are knowledgeable and passionate about their mission, and just all-around awesome humans.
I have become involved in the REEF fish survey project, where I perform underwater surveys of fish populations while diving. This data is used by marine scientists and others for important conservation work. Participating in this program has been so rewarding. REEF’s education programs are quite effective, and left me well-prepared and confident in my knowledge of fish species in order to do surveys. I love being a citizen scientist, knowing I am having a positive impact for marine life!
Thanks to Reed.org I became a better advocate for the different marine ecosystems. My dives have become more fun as I try to learn and find new species.
This organization has provided me with the tools and training necessary to enhance my science curriculum and help students become involved in conservation. Their website and data pages are easy to navigate and their staff is simply amazing.
My grandsons have attended REEF summer camps since they began - all the way from California. Last year they were joined by three girl cousins and all had a great time. My husband and I are regulars at monthly Fish and Friends mtgs., Key Largo Lionfish Derbies and any other REEF activities we can fit in our schedules. Great organization!
As a board member of a local (Puget Sound) marine advocacy group (WA Scuba Alliance) I've had the joy of working with REEF on a number of projects. REEF folks have always come through to work with our team. Many of my fellow scientific divers are active REEF members. I can always count on these folks when we need to gather solid technical data for a project.
REEF not only provides valuable citizen-science data, they are a great resource for divers wanting to learn more about the marine world. The staff and volunteers go out of their way to make you feel welcome and that your surveys matter ... even you are just learning your sculpin from your rockfish!
Nature, especially the oceans need a friend and REEF brings so many non-scientist to the realm of marine critters, helping spread the message that they need to be protected . With their surveys, REEF helps monitoring the state of health of marine life around the globe.
Reef.org was a game changer for me. It gave diving meaning. I have loved learning more about the environments that I was diving in. I have learned more than 120 tropical fish by site and do surveys for reef whenever I dive.
REEF has been a wonderful tool to teach biology to divers. We introduce the technique basics early in advanced diver training or on special biology field trips. Students learn to identify the various fins, jaw structures and behavior of fish as part of species identification, which adds t0 a richer understanding of fish biology. The REEF program also allows students to add their contribution to the body of science after only a few hours of training. They love it!
REEF is a great way to extend your diving experience into marine biology through fish and invertebrate identification training and practice. People protect what they love... but first you must know what is out there... REEF can help with that part!
REEF is responsible for so much of my education on marine species from around the world. I have purchased all of their books, and over the years as new editions were published with more species added, I bought them again! I am a member, and I follow and participate in their Western Atlantic /Caribbean facebook page where I can post photos of species I have not been able to identify.
REEF is an organization that I can contribute to and that I know is making a difference. I turn in my data and I personally know two scientists that have used some of my data to write important papers and also a book about what i happening in our oceans. Also the staff is very "customer friendly" and so connecting with them to work out details is easy.
REEF is a way for me to turn my passion into meaningful contribution. I love the ocean and it's inhabitants so I scuba dive a lot. Reef lets me contribute to greater understanding of the ocean and the changes that are going on that need tracking. They are easy to work with and really value citizen science contributors such as myself.
REEF has helped me expand my knowledge of ocean environments and the creatures that inhabit them. It has provided a wonderful way for me to participate in citizen science and contribute to marine conservation. The training materials are first rate with the Fishinars being some of the best adult education I have experienced
We wanted to learn more about sea life near our home in Seattle. Thanks to REEF's free on-line classes we can now identify the most important critters when diving. We haven't yet starting surveying what we see, but REEF makes the path to doing surveys (that help science) clear and easy.
Work they do is exceptional and often times the only long term data available.
REEF has a clearly defined mission that I fully support: educating people about marine conservation, and collecting data to support research. Participating in REEF's Volunteer Fish Survey program and learning from their "fishinars" has given me great enjoyment and enhanced my expertise in knowing the fishes where I dive, which makes my diving "count" for something. Their response to the lionfish invasion in the Tropical Western Atlantic is a model of taking on an environmental disaster. They accomplish so much, on such a shoestring budget...
I love REEF because it motivates me to learn more about the health of coral reefs around the world. I think it is a fantastic way for citizen scientists to be involved in meaningful research!
I love REEF because it has provided a purpose to my diving and I have met so many like minded divers who share this passion for the fish in the sea. I also like the idea that the data we are providing is useful for scientists in a variety of fields. The REEF staff does a terrific job of training and support for its volunteers to insure accuracy of the data collected.
Thanks Pam for the kind words! :)
REEF provides encouragement and training for volunteer fish surveyors. This provides a large data base that can be used for fish species scientific research. It also gets people much more involved with the ocean environment. Without the friendly ready knowledgable staff and volunteers it would be much more difficult and less enjoyable to get this knowledge and training. It also puts individuals interested in the ocean environment together so that they can build a community. Finally it promotes conservation and appreication for our ocean environmnet.
We enjoy SCUBA diving. We find watching fish behavior very interesting. But besides watching fish swimming around, we wanted to contribute more. REEF allowed us to do that. We do fish counts that go in a large database so scientists can research ways to preserve the underwater habitat. One example is the tracking of effects of the invasion of Pacific Lionfish on the abundance of different species.
I am a marine scientist, diver, and member of Reef. I love that reef has volunteer divers that (of their own accord) have become experts at reef creature identification and that Reef.org provides tests of their knowledge. This allows me to use that data and be confident in its quality. So far I have published 2 papers that have used Reef.org data as a major part of the paper. I am also a Reef.org diver and as a diver it always gives me a good reason to get in the water and get in a fish count and a dive. Finally I have found that as divers begin counting and IDing fish and inverts in their dives they become more and more aware of the diversity of the ocean and the health of the ocean. They invariably become ocean stewards and ocean health advocates.
Awesome- Fish ID training and opportunity to do citizen science and give back to the ocean environment I LOVE! I use REEF resources and books to connect my high school natural science students to their resources too.
I can't begin to tell you how important the work is, that these folks do, with regards to our environment. The fish surveys they take in order to determine species counts and the fierce battle that they wage against invasive species, which harm our waters is critical. Best wishes to all those involved and keep up the great work!!
REEF is an amazing organization that has many branches growing from its trunk. I like them all, but the one that I like the most is called Fish Surveying. A scuba diver or snorkeler like myself that enjoys marine fish can become a citizen scientist on every underwater adventure collecting data by filling out a survey that records species and abundance for a particular region of the world. Each individual survey goes into REEF's database and is available to anyone, i.e. research scientists, to use for their work/research in the marine realm. I feel like I am able to contribute to ocean research as a lay person...REEF has made that possible for me. It feels great!
No finer marine education organization anywhere!! Speakers, activities, field trips. Fish ID, dive buddies, demonstrations and more. Awesome organization and people.
The work REEF does with interns is invaluable to the continued advancement of environmental education by providing a springboard to future scientists and ecologists.
When my wife and I moved permantly to the Keys in 2002 we were drawn by the sea, both of us SCUBA divers since our teens and looking for like-minded folks. After we attended our first REEF Fish-n-Friends monthly meeting we were hooked. Friendly, knowledgeable people with a love for the ocean that rivaled our own! Since we became members in 2009 we have been volunteering more and more of our time to this wonderful organization. We now give bi-monthly fish ID classes at the HQ (mm 98.3) and were honored as Volunteers of the Year in 2013. We have become a Field Station and Level 5 Expert fish ID’ers. It seems that our life now revolves around introducing more people, especially young adults, to REEF and all the great programs they sponsor. What could be better than a non-profit that focuses on education and conservation run by caring people?
REEF is an amazing organization. I have had the pleasure of working with them for two years now to train college students in fish identification and survey techniques. Their education coordinator is fantastic and my students have come away with very meaningful experiences that have inspired several of them to pursue careers in marine science.
REEF Is an organization where divers who have an interest in fish and the underwater environment can make an impact as citizen scientists. As a member, I have increased my knowledge for identifying fish through information on REEF’s website, webinars, seminars, and trips with other like-minded divers. By counting/surveying fish, my data goes into a central data bank that researchers can access. REEF has taken a proactive role in decreasing the number of invasive species, especially lion fish, through culling, holding derbies, and sharing their knowledge/experience with others. They have provided information to protect certain species that were in danger, such as the Nassau Grouper in the. Amman Islands. At their Key Largo, Florida, headquarters, they hold monthly seminars and fish ID programs in addition to specialized programs for the general public and target audiences, such as students. Overall, I feel REEF has greatly contributed to my love of the ocean, conservation efforts, ability to contribute to science, and appreciate the beauty of the underwater world in addition to networking and meeting others who share the same interests.
As a diver, REEF provides a purpose for my underwater experiences. By providing the resources for identifying fish and the ability to use my knowledge to contribute to scientific study, REEF has made my experiences under water enjoyable as well as purposeful. I have participated in a number of REEF trips which has furthered my fish ID knowledge, helped to remove lionfish from reefs, and offered connections with other divers that share my underwater passion. If you are a diver, you need to belong to REEF!
REEF is a great organization doing a lot to educate people about our ocean environment. They offer great trips every year keyed on fish identification and population counts. The results of these counts end up in a database that is invaluable for all types of organiztions and scientists. Not to mention the other benefits of these trips, making new friends with other like minded divers.
This is a great resource for learning about different kinds of fish all over the world. They provide free classes and online resources that make learning fun. They collect data from volunteer citizen scientists and use it to increase the knowledge of our oceans. It is a great resource used by many scientists.
Great organization! Helping us all understand the underwater eco-environment just a bit better! Thank you REEF
REEF is an amazing resource for helping scientists better understanding our marine world. And they do critical work in aiding marine conservation. Thank you REEF!
Having just suffered a tremendous blow to its physical plant and by those who both work and live in the immediate area (Key Largo, Fl), I can not think of a nonprofit that could use a boost in its moral more than REEF. This organization and more so the people who work and volunteer for it are some of the best people in the world. I have been a member some 16 years now and volunteering for REEF has changed my life. REEF deserves this recognition, especially now.
I began my diving when I was 47 years old, the year was 1998. As it soon became apparent to me I was going to become a Master Diver I took the fish ID specialty course. In this course this not for profit organization, REEF was mentioned. A little while later I took my first REEF trip with Paul Human the current Director of REEF and one of its founders, in Pueto Rico. I have never looked back. Seventeen years later 600 dives and 400 Reef surveys later I alomost plan my life around REEF trips. I have done almost 24. The trips are all over the world and the diving is fantastic. Learning the fish for an area is fun but it is the fellowship of the other like minded divers and leaders that is the best! On top of all this I get a comfortable warm feeling in my heart Knowing that in my own small way I am doing something to help save our planets oceans!!!
This is an excellent nonprofit that benefits scientific research while educating the general public. They offer free education to all interested individuals. They increase awareness while promoting protection of the oceans we all share.
Phenomenal organization! Doing things for the Ocean that not many others can or will do! Great diving organization too!
I heard about Reef a couple years ago and was impressed with how they were using volunteers to both increase our understanding of the oceans by scientists and to enhance the appreciation of the oceans by other divers. I started doing reef surveys about a year ago. I find that not only do I feel good about helping the scientists but I have greatly increased my understanding and appreciation of the great diversity of the oceans. I am now seeing all sorts of ocean life that I did not notice before. I am passing this appreciation on to others through the photos I post online which have a number of followers.
REEF has been honest and committed to their cause since inception. They have some very knowledgeable people on staff and as volunteers. Their findings are used by several serious science organizations, and therefore REEF is contributing directly to ocean conservation.
The trips are fun and informative, linking divers of like mind and spirit.
I have worked with REEF.org for 10 years now and their knowledge, education program and staff have consistently been A+...
I have been an active supporter of REEF for over 8 years and am currently on the way to join them as a volunteer conducting surveys on Saba. The educational materials and free online seminars have been a great resource of knowledge invaluable to me as a scuba instructor and underwater photographer.
I have been to a number of REEF events, from their lion fish derbies, to their jewelry workshops, and even their annual REEF Fest and can honestly say there is not a harder working, more passionate, fun loving, all around genuine and fantastic group than the REEF staff and volunteers. I am so impressed with what they are able to accomplish world wide while having such few people and so many projects. I highly recommend all ocean enthusiasts to pursue this non profit and just get to know their mission.
REEF is an amazing group of people who do truly meaningful work. They spend the extra time to get to know each member and it really came across at REEF Fest, when so many old and new friends gathered to celebrate ocean conservation. Their database is extremely useful to scientists and policy makers as well as recreational snorkelers and divers, and their invasive lionfish research program does amazing work. They don't only hold events related to ocean conservation, but they also make it fun and bring together a community of like-minded fishy people.
I truly believe that the work REEF does is exceptional, and they have an equally outstanding team making it happen. I will always support REEF and cherish my time there!
This is a great organization teaching people about the reef and how to protect our ocean. My husband and I learned about the importance of eradicating lionfish from them and have been pulling lionfish out of the ocean as much as we can now. A great organization.
REEF conducts ground-breaking research in the field of marine science. The governments of the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas have enacted legislation protecting Nassau Grouper populations based on REEF's work. The Lionfish project is making a difference in the control of an invasive species in the Atlantic.
My daughter and I have been volunteer members of REEF for almost twenty years. She was seven when we joined, and became a certified junior diver at ten- In great part due to the fun we had together as REEF members & volunteers. Avid snorkelers, and divers, we love diving with a purpose. Our favorite "self-challenge" is to see how many species we can identify on outing; always trying to better ourselves! Best Part of REEF? The workshops and events hosted; on an ongoing basis. Fish identification seminars, lionfish round-up, and social gatherings where we have had the opportunity to bond with like minded fish enthusiasts; to name a few. BONUS of volunteering with REEF? Supports related environmental causes & influences environmental policy.
I have been doing fish surveys for REEF for a couple of years and enjoy really "looking" at the fish I see while diving. I find that I spend extra time watching behaviors of the fish, too. I took my first REEF trip this past spring and it was amazing...jammed packed with diving, identifying, and educational seminars, with a top-notch, knowledgeable group leader!!! It is great fun being a citizen scientist with this wonderful organization.
My 20 year old daughter has been a member of REEF since jr. high school! What a wonderful educational group to help those interested in the fields of marine research to learn so much. After years of posting surveys as a young diver, trust me invertebrate biology is a snap in college! Thank you for all you do REEF!
Hello. I am a diver, and REEF educational group allows for this sport to continue exploring REEFS, keeping the oceans safe for marine life and divers. Educating our children to care for our oceans is necessary to continuing life on our planet while educating those who help keep the ocean's balance ecologically. REEF is amazing!
My life was changed when I became an active REEF surveyor. I am a better diver, and a better educator - this group is first rate.
I was thoroughly impressed with the staff and interns at Reef Environmental Education Foundation. I recently attended the Lionfish Derby in Key Largo, hosted by REEF, and was not disappointed by their knowledge and friendly demeanor. REEF is going above and beyond to raise public awareness and education about the impacts of the invasive lionfish, working hard to get the public involved in hand- on learning and participation in getting lionfish off local reefs. In addition, REEF is doing extensive work with fish identification surveys worldwide to get a more comprehensive dataset of marine fishes. Lastly, I learned that REEF offers an internship to young individuals wanting to get experience in non-profit work pertinent to marine conservation. I commend this group for giving an opportunity to young people to get a well-rounded learning and work experience to boost their career. Good job to Reef Environmental Education Foundation for all their efforts to get more people actively involved with and educated about marine conservation. We need more groups like them in the world!
My husband and I took one of REEF's very first fish ID courses in 1993, and it changed our lives. As we continue to count fish and support REEF, we have become more and more impressed by their focus, specificity, and high effectiveness. For example, REEF's special projects are targeted--such as protecting the breeding of mass-spawning fish, and eliminating invasive lionfish--and have made measurable differences for the people affected (in the Atlantic basin, countries that rely on tourism), and their data are remaking science. I also love the fact REEF's data are available to all, and that significant institutions (like NOAA, fisheries around the world, and governments) use the data to create policy. Finally, I love the esprit de corps of REEF and its remarkable efficiency. I know as a member of its board that the staff are breathtakingly dedicated, underpaid, and highly productive. REEF's budget overwhelmingly goes towards its work. It is a truly great organization.
I volunteer for another non-profit organization that raises funds to deploy artificial reefs. When we decided to include fish counts in our artificial reef surveys REEF became our model. REEF is great to work with, I am always asking them to add new artificial reefs into their database and they are quick to respond. I enjoy doing surveys for both organizations, and the Florida FWC encourages us to put our survey data into the REEF database where it can be used by more researchers. REEF has been a great place for me to learn more about the fish I see on our surveys, and to get identifications on fishes I'm not familiar with.
I got involved with Reef.Org around the time of the 20th anniversary celebration. The key members were present giving lectures and leading groups of fish surveyors on their dives. It was an incredible experience and I've been hooked ever since. I feel like I learn something new on every dive when doing surveys. It's a great satisfaction knowing you're contributing to a database for scientific research. Reef.Org provides prominent speakers every 2nd Tuesday of the month, speaking on timely ocean topics at their facility in Key Largo as well as fish ID seminars lead by Carlos and Allison Estape. Web seminars on fish ID are hosted regularly to anyone with a computer so you need not be physically present. The Lionfish invasion is one key issues addressed by Reef.Org and they are one of the top organizations combating this problem. They are truly a force helping to protect our oceans.
Simply put, there is no other nonprofit like REEF providing excellent free resources, education, and data to divers and industry professionals world-wide.
I love to SCUBA dive and snorkel for pleasure, but making my dives count towards something larger is fantastic. This is exactly where REEF comes in. I can independently ID fish and send my surveys in to REEF or sign up for REEF trips, filling out surveys while having a great support group and gaining more underwater knowledge. I love receiving their emails to see how my (and other REEF divers) data has contributed to large-scale and long-term research. I wish more non-profits could contribute in such a grand and meaningful way.
My wife and I are great fans because REEF has significantly enhanced our enjoyment of diving. The "Fisninars", which are fun, fast and informative, have anchored our increasing ability to identify fish. The REEF Training & Survey materials (with that excellent, user friendly CD) gave us the confidence to take PADI's Fish ID specialty course and to complete our first REEF surveys. As a bonus, my REEF knowledge noticeably improved my eye for underwater photography.
Hi, I got certified in 1995 in Southern California then moved to Miami. Reef with their continue seminars and hands on the job actions keep me going strong, the only thing I got to say is thank you to them all.
I got into scuba for the fun, but you can't avoid the education. I am still learning, a lot, after 40 years of diving, and REEF is my primary source for underwater education. REEF helps me with fish identification and fish behavior. It is a wonderful "client" centered organization.
I have been following the lionfish debacle for a few years now, and was delighted that they offered some unique and artistic designs on t-shirts that would get the word out to those unaware of their Atlantic invasion. I ordered one and decided to pick it up at their HQ in Key Largo while vacationing in the Keys. They were very friendly and helpful group who informed me how I could get involved as a free diver here in our own Indian River Lagoon. Hats off to their Lionfish Derbies, as they are always a huge success.
As a volunteer new to eco-activism, I looked to established agencies for knowledge, expertise, inspiration and guidance in my fields of interest, marine conservation and community involvement in areas affected by invasive species, specifically lionfish. REEF's leadership with their Invasive Lionfish Program is second to none in dealing directly with this threat to marine biodiversity and coastal communities that depend on sustainable ocean productivity for their livelihoods.
I have done surveys in the California region for about 4 years and on the Advanced Assessment Team as well. Doing surveys is a lot of fun and knowing what I am looking at has helped hold my interest in my SCUBA diving generally. The educational component is exceptional and I would add that the people that work for REEF, like Janna Nichols and Christy Semmens are simply amazing and dedicated individuals who really demonstrate they want what is best for the members and the critters we encounter. i'm glad to be associated with such a fine organization!
I have been contributing to REEF's database of dive surveys for over 5 years now and I really like the amount of support they provide to divers and snorkelers at any level. Their web site is a wealth of information, not only their database but also quizzes for all different regions. Their free webinars aka "Fishinars" are always fun and entertaining to be experienced from the comfort of your home. To top if all off, they have friendly staff to answer any kind of questions you may have from your dive experiences. I learned so much regarding the critters I see in the ocean and it keeps it interesting and fresh. REEF offers a lot for FREE but actually they are priceless.