About Reef Check Hawaii
 
  Reef Check Hawaii is a volunteer, community-based coral reef monitoring and education program that promotes coral reef conservation and preservation throughout the Main Hawaiian Islands.  

Reef Check Hawaii has conducted surveys at various sites around the islands since Reef Check was first founded in 1997. However, from 1997 to 2005, Reef Check Hawaii was primarily based on Oahu.  Since Reef Check Hawai`i obtained its 501(c)3 non-profit status in 2006, the organization has grown into a Statewide network of volunteers and volunteer teams who monitor Hawaiian reefs. 

Reef Check Hawaii has also formed a number of collaborative partnerships to better fulfill their mission and goals of coral reef conservation, coral reef education, and coral reef preservation.  The Eyes of the Reef Network, Malama Kai, and B.E.A.C.H. are but a few of the organizations that are part of RCH's collaborative network.
 
  RCH Mission Statement  
  Reef Check Hawai`i's mission is encapsulated in the Hawaiian phrase:  
 
Mai ke kai, mai ke ola.  E malama i ke kai.
From the ocean, comes life. Protect the ocean.
 
  This mission is served by the following goals:
 
 
  • Educate the people of Hawai`i about the importance and value of coral reefs.
  • Create a regional network of volunteer teams, trained and led by scientists, that regularly monitor and report on reef health using a standard method.
  • Stimulate local action to promote reef conservation, protect remaining pristine reefs and rehabilitate damaged reefs in the Hawaiian Islands.
  • Facilitate collaborative use of reef health information by community groups, governmental agencies, universities, and businesses to design and implement ecologically sustainable solutions.
 
  Reef Check Hawaii -  Part of the Reef Check Ohana  
 

Reef Check Hawaii is the Hawaii-based affiliate of the Reef Check Foundation.

In 1996, marine ecologist, Dr. Gregor Hodgson, founded Reef Check and develeped the Reef Check Methodology to survey coral reef health, threats, and pressures on a global-scale.

In 1997, to kick off the 1st International Year of the Reef, the first Reef Check survey was conducted at Hawaii's very own Hanalei, Kauai. Over the following year, more than 300 volunteers conducted Reef Check surveys in over 30 countries. It was the first global survey of coral reef health ever conducted. The results of those surveys provided scientific confirmation that our coral reefs were in crisis due to over-fishing, illegal fishing, and pollution. The scientific journal publication of the results in 1999 shocked many marine biologists who had not realized the extent of human impacts on reefs.

In August 2002, Reef Check released its first five-year report, The Global Coral Reef Crisis – Trends and Solutions, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. Based on data collected by thousands of Reef Check volunteer divers in over 80 countries and territories, the report was the first scientific documentation of the dramatic worldwide decline in coral reef health over a five year period. The report concluded that there was virtually no reef in the world that remained untouched by human impacts, such as over fishing, pollution and climate change. Yet the success stories discussed in the report show that, with proper monitoring, management and protection, coral reefs can recover. It is up to us.

Since then, Reef Check's fast-growing network has expanded throughout all tropical seas, and has played a major role in efforts to preserve and sustain reef ecosystems. Reef Check’s approach is to engage partners, especially businesses in a non-confrontational manner to develop mutually beneficial solutions especially the creation of self-funding Marine Protected Areas.

Reef Check has received international environmental awards for its work, and is the United Nations' official community-based reef monitoring program.

 
     
     
     
 
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