Pro Dive Conducts Reef Check Event
On June 27 Pro Dive conducted its first annual Reef Check Survey, becoming the first Reef Check Facility on the East Coast to promote a hands-on research program.
Reef Check is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of two ecosystems: tropical coral reefs and California rocky reefs. Reef Check goals are to educate the public about the value of reef ecosystems and the current crisis affecting marine life; to create a global network of volunteer teams trained in Reef Check’s scientific methods, who regularly monitor and report on reef health; to facilitate collaboration that produces ecologically sound and economically sustainable solutions; and to stimulate local community action to protect remaining pristine reefs and rehabilitate damaged reefs worldwide.
In 2009 Pro Dive International became the world’s first PADI CDC to incorporate Reef Check Instructor certification as part of its career development curriculum. Reef Check Instructor training in Pro Dive’s proprietary Resort Operations Specialist (ROS) program is conducted by Dr. Alex Brylske, Reef Check Instructor-Trainer, ROS developer, and Senior Editor of Dive Training Magazine.
Pro Dive’s survey day began with a morning Discover Reef Check class with three students and two instructors. In the afternoon all were aboard Pro Dive’s 60’ vessel, the Pro Diver II, for the actual survey, conducted at Mackay’s Reef, named in honor of Pro Dive’s late founders, Greg and Loren Mackay. Dives were made with OTS full-facemasks with communications, allowing the instructional staff to communicate directly with the students. Divers of all levels (snorklers too) can participate in Reef Check programs – Pro Dive’s three students included two Advanced Open Water divers and one Pro Dive instructor-alumnus. Future programs are planned, to include the Reef Check Eco Diver, with a 2-3 day survey program, as well as the remaining five ROS courses for 2009.