Dear Reef Members:

REEF is all about the fish and July has been very fish focused. First thank you to all of you for your donations – we made our summer goal. For those of you that haven’t donated you can still make a donation and receive Ned and Anna DeLoach’s fabulous 2008 Album of the Sea screensaver – perfect for a 5 minute safety break into the sea we love and appreciate. So on that note, here are some of the highlights of our latest issue of Reef-in-Brief, so take a moment, get neutral and lets think about fish (some more).

We did it! 120,000 surveys to date and still growing. In July our volunteers managed to submit 651 surveys and many are pending. So if you did a survey and haven’t yet logged it please go to the online data submission area and submit your survey. Do your part, save a tree, survey a fish, use electronic data submission – its faster, more accurate and planet friendly!

Lionfish, big issue and getting bigger. REEF is at the forefront of the efforts to coordinate all parties working on this issue and get information coordinated. Please pay careful attention to this escalating concern that is directly affecting our precious reefs and their residents. There is an opportunity to directly participate in working on this problem so don’t miss the Stuart Cove Trip September 14 – 20, 2008 and space is filling rapidly.

The 11th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) was held in Ft. Lauderdale and the Rock Stars of the Coral Reef World were all in attendance. Our very own REEF Director of Science, Dr. Christy Pattengill-Semmens, Ph.D. is one of those rock stars along with her husband Dr. Brice Semmens and they made several presentations during the 5 day event. It was inspirational to watch scientists from all over the world come up to thank Paul Humann for his and Ned DeLoach’s work and contributions through their award winning Reef ID books. The respect and admiration shown Dr. Jim Bohnsack, one of the designers of the Roving Diver Technique we use each time we survey was fabulous to witness as well. I wish all of you could have been there to experience it.

Speaking of Rock Stars, Audrey Smith our REEF Headquarters volunteer extraordinaire went to Akumal with REEF’s Director of Field Operations Joe Cavanaugh. They met some like minded citizen scientists, surveyed some fish, soaked up some local culture and color and made Dives That Count. REEF Trips are what it is all about so make sure you have one in your 2009 schedule! We will be offering REEF Trip Tips and Tricks in each upcoming e-news to help you make the most of your REEF Trip. Don’t miss the boat on fun, adventure and a Dive Vacation That Counts.

Steph Roach the REEF Our World Underwater intern has been really, really busy and is loving what she is doing so much she asked to share some of it with you so check out how her time with REEF has been going!

I remember the morning I was running a dive boat out of Port Largo canal, August 4th 1984 and noticed a freighter very close to Molasses Reef. As all the commercial dive boats in Key Largo got closer we realized the freighter was not moving and was in fact ON Molasses Reef. It was devastating and we are still living with the effects of this navigational error 24 years later. REEF completed a 5 year monitoring of the program and you can read about the results, program and the final report that was just released.

Don’t forget to look at the very end of e-news – space available on the Baja Expeditions liveaboard. Also there is new retail items in our store including limited edition t-shirts, and hats are coming very soon.

That’s it for now. Thank you for your time, your donations, your surveys, your support. We appreciate all of it and so do the Fish!

Best Fishes,Capt. Lisa