Since 1993, REEF volunteers have played an important role in collecting marine life data as part of the Volunteer Fish Survey Project. In addition to ongoing worldwide surveys, REEF also mobilizes teams to collect data for special scientific or monitoring projects. Our latest monitoring project, the Species Snapshot Project, is designed to capture information about sites along the coast of Florida. The goal of the project is to explore and gather baseline data on under-surveyed areas and alternative habitats along Florida's coastline.

During each Species Snapshot Project session, a team of Expert Level REEF surveyors conduct fish surveys at a collection of sites to capture the breadth of fish biodiversity in the area. The baseline data will help us monitor changes in fish populations over time and identify biodiversity hotspots. Collecting these data with a team of experienced surveyors allows us to take a “biological snapshot” of each area.

A team of REEF surveyors completed the first Species Snapshot Project session in July, surveying sites between Carysfort Reef at the northern tip of Key Largo to the northern end of Biscayne National Park. Click here to view the report from the July project. The next portion of the project will take place later this month in Miami.

Members who achieve Expert status (Levels 4 and 5) in a given region are invited to join the REEF Advanced Assessment Team (AAT). AAT members may be invited to participate in special regional monitoring and assessment projects, such as the Species Snapshot Project. Click here to view current and past AAT monitoring projects.