With the recent release of the film “Dolphin Tale”, the non-profit organization Reef Monitoring is dedicated to putting a halt to such tragedies as what occurred to Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s Winter the dolphin.
On September 24th, 2011 the community came together to participate in the Three Mile Reef clean-up just off the coast of Clearwater artificial reef. Over 200 divers collected more than 1,500 pounds of entanglement such as anchor lines, rope, fishing lines and crab traps which were then disposed of by Waste Management Bagster Division. The extraction of the debris improves Florida’s reef and helps protect the estuarine ecosystems.
The clean-up was organized by the Reef Monitoring, which was established in 2005 in response to the massive Red Tide and Low Oxygen kill in the near-shore waters of Tampa Bay, Florida. The purpose is to observe both our artificial and natural reef systems, by organizing groups of marine educators and scientists. The non-profit organization is funded solely by both public and private contributions and grants.
The institute educates the public on the importance of the conservation of our local underwater communities, as well as aims to involve the local diving and fishing community to collect scientific calculations and data. The findings sanction the group to establish a starting point, in case of an event that would affect the resources by either a natural or man-made disaster in the future.
Reef Monitoring has initiated numerous projects. In addition to diver training and exotic Lionfish observation, the organization is committed to educational programs such as, R.E.E.F. This projects focus is Research, Education, Early Warning and to Feature our reef systems. They are excited about expanding and furthering their scientific studies in hopes of providing an even grander service to our oceans.
To learn more about the Reef Monitoring log on to their website at www.ReefMonitoring.org.