Greetings REEF Friends,

Summer is now in full swing! Thank you to everyone who donated during our Summer Fundraising Campaign last month. While we didn't quite make our goal of raising $30k in 30 days, we came close. The offer by our Board of Trustees to match incoming donations is still open so it's not too late to double your impact to help support REEF’s critical marine conservation work. Donate Today through our secure online donation form.

With summer comes the Great Annual Fish Count (GAFC), REEF's annual event that celebrates our fish survey program. Check out the complete GAFC event schedule online. In this issue of REEF-in-Brief we highlight the largest one day GAFC event, being held next weekend in Gloucester, MA. In it's 8th year, the Northeast GAFC event facilitates the collection of over 100 REEF surveys from several sites around Cape Ann in one day. Summer is also a time when many marine educators take their students in the field. There are several groups that engage their students in marine life identification and surveying using the REEF program. Two such high schools are featured in this issue.

REEF is continuing our efforts to help control the spread of Indo-Pacific lionfish throughout Florida, the Caribbean and Bahamas, through our Lionfish Research Program. REEF recently helped organize the first Bahamas Lionfish Derby. The derby was a great success on many fronts and resulted in the collection of over 1,400 lionfish in one day. As part of the event, cooking demonstrations were conducted and the fish is being hailed as tasty!

There are still a few great opportunities to travel with REEF in 2009. There is something for everyone -- Bermuda with Ned and Anna DeLoach, Curacao with REEF Board Member Heather George, and Cozumel with local expert Sheryl Shea. Check out the Field Survey Schedule online. We will also be announcing the 2010 schedule soon so keep an eye on your inbox.

We hope you enjoy this issue of REEF-in-Brief.

Best Fishes,