To celebrate our sustaining donors and most active volunteer surveyors, we annually host REEF by the Sea during the first weekend in March. This year's celebration took place earlier this month in San Diego, California. This invitation-only event included three days of presentations, socials, and guided tours of facilities around the Scripps Institution of Oceanography campus. Over 60 people attended the 2020 event. We were thrilled to host four wonderful speakers, including citizen science leader Rick Bonney from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, underwater photographer and film maker Michele Westmorland, rockfish guru Dr. Milton Love from UC Santa Barbara, and manta and mobula ray expert Dr. Joshua Stewart. Many of the REEF staff also gave program updates on our latest activities and plans for the future.
We also celebrated REEF's 30th anniversary with a fun timeline made by our interns, and attendees were asked to add in their own REEF memories. We presented our 2019 Volunteers of the Year, Fred and Laura Hartner, with their award and gave REEF's Citizen Science Program Manager, Janna Nichols, a photo book commemorating her 10 years as a staff member. It was a great weekend - and the perfect weather didn't hurt. The conservation impact and education that our programs have are made possible because of members, and we are honored to celebrate a small segment of that community each year.
A big thank you the following businesses who supported the silent auction at the event: NAI'A Liveaboard, Explorer Ventures, Jim Hellemn / Blue Ocean Art, ScubaPro, New World Publications, and Michele Westmorland / Headhunt Revisited. And thank you to Coronado Brewing for donating local craft beer for the event. To find out more about becoming a REEF Sustainer, contact us at giving@REEF.org.
A full photo album of the fun can be found on REEF's Flickr page here.