Monday, November 2, 2009

#16: Connecting with Reef Watch in Australia

I arrived in Adelaide, South Australia to a leafy seadragon reception at the airport. I spent my first day here at the Reef Watch Marine Creatures Expo.

Leafy sea dragon display at airport

Reef Watch is a community based monitoring program that utilizes "citizen scientists" to do systematic surveys at local reefs and intertidal areas to assess the health of these rocky reefs and contribute to adaptive management of the local coastal areas (similar to the Great Annual Fish Count that Aquarium divers reported on here).

In addition, they play a vital role in educating and engaging the public about the bounty and beauty of the South Australian marine environment. This expo was a way for them to let the public know about the important programs they're working on and to expose people to South Australian marine creatures and some of the marine scientists that research them.

Leafy seadragon (Photo: Jeremy Brodt)

The expo was broken into several stations detailing their programs on invasive/feral species, in peril/'of concern' (or rarely seen species such as leafy seadragons), and showcasing the diversity of local invertebrates, fish, and algae. Overall, it was a very informative day and I learned a lot about the beauty of South Australia's temperate reefs.

I'm looking forward to experiencing more of it first hand in a couple of days when I do another dive.


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