By Reef Check Italia Coordinator Carlo Cerrano
2009 has been an excellent year for Reef Check Italia (RCI)! Following last year’s launch of the EcoDiver MAC (Coastal Environment Monitoring) program for the Mediterranean Sea, 35 divers have now been certified as EcoDivers. The program consists of four different modules - visual census, sea water temperature monitoring, fixed stations that are devoted to divers, and beach monitoring for kids education. Of significant achievement, two Marine Protected Areas - one in the wonderful sea of Sardinia (Tavolara) and the other in Porto Cesareo on the coast of Salento (Puglia) - have adopted the RCI protocol to monitor their areas. In addition, RCI is now officially recognized as a non-profit organization.
Currently we are working on an English version of the EcoDiver MAC Program; a video of the project is already available on our website.
In 2010, we look to widen our partnership with other MPAs to involve them in monitoring using the RCI protocol. Reef Check Italia is also incorporating the standard tropical Reef Check EcoDiver program, which will target Italians spending their holidays in the tropics. A 2010 trip to monitor the Red Sea is being planned.
For more information, please visit www.reefcheckitalia.org.