The Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) is a fantastic organization that organizes divers to collect valuable information on fish populations. Local team member Keith Rootsaert will be our presenter providing tips on identifying various fish and invertebrates off our California Coast.
Keith Rootsaert learned to SCUBA dive at San Jose State in 1984 and has been diving on and off ever since. In the last 4 years he has averaged about 90 dives a year primarily in the Monterey/Carmel area. Rootsaert is an active surveyor for Reef Check CA and in 2012 won the highly coveted “golden slate award” for surveying the most transects in central/northern California. Surveying for REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation), he has the most surveys by any California diver for the past two years and has taught numerous fish and invertebrate ID classes at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and in on-line “Fishinars”. Presently he is serving his second term as president of the Monterey Bay Sea Otters Dive Club where he encourages conservation and education.
Rootsaert will present an introduction to REEF, a non-profit international organization that facilitates volunteer diver data collection with the REEF Volunteer Survey Project. At last count there are 168,458 surveys in the database and counting; it is the world’s largest marine life database. The presentation will focus on how divers can participate in the Volunteer Survey Project and how diver sightings can be of benefit to scientists evaluating the health of near shore marine ecosystems. Divers who educate themselves to identify marine critters make their diving that much more enjoyable and it is very addicting.