Save the Reefs, Save the Oceans Gala    
  Please join us at 6pm on Thursday, September 28th to celebrate the reefs and oceans! Reef Check's 2017 Gala will be on the beach at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica. The evening will feature amazing music by Maria de la Vega and The Wayward Five, unique auction items, delicious food, complimentary cocktails, and a chance to meet our honorees and some of the thousands of volunteer Reef Check EcoDivers who monitor Californian and tropical reefs as part of the Reef Check Foundation's citizen scientist programs. We look forward to seeing you there!

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For additional information please call Reef Check at 310.305.4622 or email

Sponsorship, auction, and advertising opportunities are available, please see the links below.
  Honoring our 2017 Hero of the Reef  
  Poseidon Award
In appreciation of his ongoing commitment to the health of our oceans as a resident marine biologist on Santa Catalina Island for almost 50 years

Dr. Bill Bushing

Dr. Bill Bushing, or Dr. Bill as he is known in the SCUBA world, has been a resident marine biologist on Santa Catalina Island for almost 50 years. Upon graduation from Harvard College in 1969, he became head of the science and math departments at the Catalina Island School, teaching there until it closed in 1979.

He has logged thousands of dives mostly in southern California waters for research and educational purposes. He is a well-known presence both at Catalina's Casino Point Dive Park; and, formerly, on SCUBA Luv's King Neptune dive boat where he served as the marine life specialist for thousands of divers each year. Dr. Bill has worked, dived and filmed with the likes of Jean-Michel Cousteau, Dr. Richard C. Murphy, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Milton Love, Dr. Guy Harvey, marine artist Wyland and others.

Dr. Bill worked with Jean-Michel and his father, Jacques Yves Cousteau, as a consultant and facilitator during the filming of a two-hour Channel Islands episode in the "Cousteau's Rediscovery of the World" series for Turner Broadcasting, at which point he was introduced to the use of video to document natural history.

Later, Bill was instrumental in helping Jean-Michel to establish a Catalina location for Cousteau Family Camp and other educational programs. Over the decades Bill has worked on a number of educational projects for Jean-Michel's Ocean Futures organization, most recently on the filming of Jean-Michel Cousteau's Secret Ocean 3D.

Dr. Bill's Ph.D. research at the University of California Santa Barbara in the use of satellite remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) to study giant kelp forests (Macrocystis pyrifera) around Santa Catalina Island led to a methodology for creating a network of marine reserves based on ecological factors including disturbance regimes.

In the 1990's Dr. Bushing instituted a number of important conservation programs for the Santa Catalina Island Conservancy and also worked on implementing California's Marine Life Protection Act to establish marine reserves in southern California.

In June of 2000 Dr. Bushing left the Conservancy to focus on the ecology of Catalina's kelp forests. He continues to conduct scientific research, and to create educational programs to better inform the general public about our underwater world and the need to preserve it for future generations. He has also dived on five continents and published more than 750 newspaper columns and peer-reviewed scientific papers including his weekly column "Dive Dry with Dr. Bill" about marine life, ecology and diving. He also produced two regional cable television programs, one with the same name and another, “Munching and Mating in the Macrocystis,” about the ecology of kelp forests. Dr. Bill has also produced 30 educational videos about the marine life in southern California as well as dive travelogues to various destinations. He is the recipient of the 2011 California SCUBA Service Award and this year was designated as the second SCUBA Legend by

Bill views himself as a marine ecologist and educator first, and sees SCUBA diving as the most important tool for observing and interpreting marine life. He is actually shocked that people seem to consider him as a legend, hero or icon, when all he is doing is what he loves... being a dive bum and sharing his knowledge with others!

Further information about his activities can be found at the web site

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