REEF CHECK FOUNDATION

Saving Reefs Worldwide

Marina del Rey, CA   |  www.reefcheck.org

Mission

Founded in 1996, the Reef Check Foundation exists to help preserve the oceans and reefs which are critical to our survival, yet are being destroyed. With headquarters in Los Angeles and volunteer teams in more than 90 countries and territories, Reef Check works to protect tropical coral reefs and California rocky reefs through education, research and conservation.

Ruling year info

2001

Executive Director

Dr. Jan Freiwald

Main address

13723 Fiji Way Ste B2

Marina del Rey, CA 90292 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

95-4858649

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Reefs are critical to our survival, yet are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Reef Check was started in 1996 to help answer the question: “What is the health of the world’s reefs?” Since then, Reef Check’s network has expanded throughout all tropical seas with the objective to preserve and sustain reef ecosystems, while also launching a temperate reef program in 2005 to do the same for California’s kelp forests. In 2016, this program expanded into climate change monitoring to look at its effects on our ocean’s ecosystems.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

EcoDiver Program

Every year, Reef Check trains thousands of citizen scientist divers who volunteer to survey the health of coral reefs around the world, and rocky reef ecosystems along the entire coast of California. The results are used to improve the management of these critically important natural resources. Reef Check programs provide ecologically sound and economically sustainable solutions to save reefs, by creating partnerships among community volunteers, government agencies, businesses, universities and other nonprofits.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of program sites

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of surveys per year for our California kelp forest monitoring program

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Reef Check’s vision is one of thriving reefs, cared for by communities sustained for generations to come. We want to realize this vision by leading citizen scientists to promote stewardship of sustainable reef communities worldwide.

Reef Check performs three vital tasks necessary to promote stewardship of sustainable reef communities worldwide:
We train and organize teams of local volunteer citizen scientist divers. They collect data on reef health and assess climate change impacts on their reefs. Their work produces reliable information used by marine resource managers, scientists, and policymakers to make science-based ocean management and conservation decisions.
We promote public education about reefs and the ocean. Our goal is to develop a team of ocean ambassadors with the skills and knowledge to make a tangible difference in marine conservation in their local communities. Our immersive youth education programs train participants to understand the threats marine ecosystems face and give them the tools to become ocean stewards.
We develop ecologically sound and economically sustainable solutions for reef conservation and restoration.

Reef Check has offices in Los Angeles and Santa Cruz, California as well as chapters and volunteer teams in more than 40 countries and territories around the world. Every year, thousands of trained citizen scientist volunteers participate in Reef Check surveys and programs.

Since the first survey conducted in 1997, Reef Check's global database contains 14,568 coral reef health surveys from 102 countries and territories. 7,076 divers have been trained to monitor coral reef health. In 1997, Reef Check conducted the first-ever global survey of coral reef health that provided scientific evidence that our coral reefs were in crisis due to overfishing, illegal fishing, and pollution. The results shocked many marine biologists who had not realized the extent of human impacts on reefs. In 2002, Reef Check released its report, The Global Coral Reef Crisis – Trends and Solutions, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. Based on data collected by thousands of Reef Check volunteer divers in over 80 countries and territories, the report was the first scientific documentation of the dramatic worldwide decline in coral reef health over a five-year period. The report concluded that there was virtually no reef in the world that remained untouched by human impacts. Most recently, Reef Check data showed promising news that some corals are becoming more resistant to global warming than they were a decade ago. Going forward, we aim to expand our monitoring program in both existing and new locations, while also continuing to provide data critical to the conservation of coral reefs.
Reef Check’s kelp forest monitoring includes over 1,200 surveys from 120 sites throughout California. 1,754 divers have been trained to monitor California kelp forests. We monitor kelp forests inside and outside of California’s marine protected areas (MPAs), and our data is used to manage California’s network of 124 MPAs. Our climate change project tracks ocean temperature at 75 of our monitoring sites, and at six of them, we are investigating changes such as ocean acidification and hypoxia. Through our kelp forest restoration program, we seek to establish restoration sites in central and northern California. These sites will serve as refuges and seed banks for surrounding areas in hopes that kelp can reestablish where it has been lost from 100’s of miles of coast. In addition to the ecological benefits of this project, it will also provide a substantial economic benefit to the fishing community of Fort Bragg, which has been hard hit by the effective loss of its two most important fisheries. We also expect to extend our kelp forest monitoring and restoration work northward into Oregon.
Educational Marine Biological Adventures with Reef Check – EMBARC – is our interactive marine education program that gives underserved middle and high school students a chance to become marine biologists for the day and experience the ocean environment first hand. So far, 1,300 students from 32 Los Angeles-area schools have gone through the program. Through this program, we hope to open the students’ eyes to the wonders of the ocean world, and our ultimate goal is to create a new generation of young ocean ambassadors, who will start making

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
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Financials

REEF CHECK FOUNDATION
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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REEF CHECK FOUNDATION

Board of directors
as of 1/28/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Perry Roshan-Zamir


Board co-chair

Linden Wolbert

Russ Lesser

Helen Brierley

Chris Glaeser

Evan Birenbaum

Matthew Bullock

Sue Chen

Yadi Chou

Scott Gietler

Mark Martin

Robert McClatchy

Renee Kwan

Sari Kern

Robert Kugel

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/28/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.