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Reefkeepers' Objectives

-A Subtidal Monitoring Guide
-A Standard Survey Method
-A Training Curriculum
-Long-Term Subtidal Habitat Monitoring
-Coastal Stewardship
-A Powerful and Flexible Database
-Public Education
-A Commitment
Sea anemones
A Subtidal Monitoring Guide Top
> Developed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in collaboration with the Royal British Columbia Museum and PADI Project AWARE, the "Reefkeepers' Guide For Monitoring Subtidal Habitats of Canada's Pacific Waters" is the core of Reefkeepers. The guide is a protocol for non-professionals, certified and experienced in scuba diving, to survey and monitor subtidal habitats. The data collected should be of sufficient quantity and quality for use by resource managers, environmental biologists, and marine researchers, who are monitoring and assessing long-term changes in marine communities. The guide is designed in a concise step-by-step manner and includes the concept of 'why'.

The methods are grouped into modules:
Module One: Project Setup,
Module Two: Reef Monitoring via Scuba Divers,
Module Three: Dive Safety,
Module Four: Managing Information, and
Module Five: Training Curriculum.

A Standard Subtidal Survey Method Top
> Reefkeepers is a rigorous subtidal survey methodology. The key to getting reliable scientific data is to use standard survey methods so that everyone is collecting data in the same way at all sites over time. In this way, results can be comparable.

A Training Curriculum Top
> The Reefkeepers' training course has been developed at the grade 10 level with a common sense approach for clarity. A variety of training approaches exist that can be employed depending on your individual or group needs. The Reefkeepers' Guide includes a Training Curriculum for Certified Reefkeepers. This module of the Guide provides instructors with learning outcomes and a course outline, designed for training volunteers of a Reefkeepers' project. The training is not complex and is very important to the success of the project.

Long-Term Subtidal Habitat Monitoring Top
> To detect gradual changes in subtidal habitats and local biodiversity, we need long-term data sets. Reefkeepers is about collecting detailed data at regular frequent intervals at the same site for 5 or more years. The goal is to enable interested non-professional individuals and community groups to obtain standardized, credible data over time from a specific physical site -and use these data to document and evaluate the nature of change, if any, that is occurring.

Coastal Stewardship Top
> Coastal or Community Stewardship involves the voluntary conservation of natural marine resources and habitat. Volunteers in the program may or may not be from a scientific background. With proper training and supervision, volunteers can successfully participate in the Reefkeepers Project. Having local community groups and individuals take an active role in looking after their coastline fosters "local ownership" and interest.

A Powerful and Flexible Database Top
> Reefkeepers' includes a database application that is user friendly. Programmed as a Microsoft Access application, ARKS (A ReefKeepers System) is designed for the Project Coordinator to record and report on the observations made during dives on one or more reefs. Once project data are entered into the database, various summary reports can be created. The database provides a tool for data entry, archiving, and customized reporting to increase the quality of your collected data.

Public Education Top
> Reefkeepers' aims to educate and instigate discussion through the development and use of displays, videos, press releases, and other materials, and is able to reach out to a broad cross-section of the public with educational presentations. Conferences, school presentations, talks to community groups, and this web site are just some of the ways education programs are delivered.

A Commitment Top
> A Reefkeeper is someone who is interested in the ecology of reefs near their community. They are willing to commit time to learning the survey methodology, and they can commit to a few dives a month on an on going basis to monitor the same study area.