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Bermuda Zoological Society's "Reef Watch"

Bernews

[Updated] The Bermuda Zoological Society is hosting a “Reef Watch” on Saturday, August 31, which is designed to raise funds for reef conservation. Boats will depart at 12 noon, and the field report and dinner will take place at Barr’s Park from 4pm to 7pm.

The organisers said, “Enter your boat and a 4-person snorkel team to study our coral reefs. Reef Watch will train you to recognize key fish and corals. Training scheduled at the Aquarium on either 27th or 28th August.

“Each vessel contributes $500 to coral reef research. The funds will support data collection and analysis. The $500 can be paid by the participants or raised from pledges to support the project.”

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Update Aug 20, 2.23pm: In response to comments, BZS President Richard Winchell said, “Thanks for sharing your concerns on the $500 donation for Reef Watch, this is the first year for this programme and your comments and feedback help us develop Reef Watch as an effective community fundraising programme.

“This project began as an attempt to address the loss of funding supporting scientists monitoring the health of our reef system. The $500 raised per entry will go directly to support reef monitoring by scientists and interns, thus supporting our conservation and education mission.

“We suggest 4 team members per boat and we have encouraged each team to make a personal donation, and to encourage friends and colleagues to sponsor their boat to raise the $500 donation. If the $125 per person in a 4 person boat is expensive perhaps send an email around the office, or to friends, inviting them to sponsor you. Involving others increases awareness of the value and importance of a healthy reef.

“Over the past few years an enormous body of reef baseline data has been collected by the BREAM team, and with the Reef Watch programme the Bermuda Zoological Society is supporting an annual community reef check by volunteers, collecting the data, raising community awareness and participation, and raising funds to support ongoing research. The volunteer training, the reefs chosen and the protocols followed have been developed by Dr Thad Murdoch of BREAM, to ensure the data collected will have scientific value.”