Reef Check

reef checkReef Check is a non-profit organization leading citizen scientists* to promote stewardship of sustainable reef communities worldwide.

Reef Check’s Vision: Thriving reefs, cared for by communities sustained for generations to come.

Founded in 1996, the Reef Check Foundation is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of tropical coral reefs and temperate kelp forests. With offices in Los Angeles and Santa Cruz, California and volunteer teams in more than 40 countries and territories, Reef Check’s mission is to lead citizen scientists who promote stewardship of sustainable reef communities around the globe.

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 and meaningful difference for marine conservation in their local communities.
  • We develop ecologically sound and economically sustainable solutions for reef conservation and restoration.

EcoDivers are the volunteers who help Reef Check to deliver its citizen science program and collect data necessary for coral reef management and conservation.

This course is designed to teach you everything you need to know to conduct full-scale Reef Check surveys and collect high-quality data for our global database. In this program, you will learn about marine conservation issues, the role of citizen science, as well as how to identify key indicator fish, invertebrates, and substrates selected by Reef Check for assessing coral reef health. Upon completion of this course, you will join the Reef Check monitoring team and assist in underwater surveys around the world. This 2-3 day course includes both classroom and fieldwork.


  • 15+ years old
  • Open Water Diver
  • 25 logged dives, including 2 dives in the past 12 months


  • Reef Check EcoDiver E-Kit (available in the Sea Store; may be provided by the trainer as part of the course)

To Gain Certification:

  • Pass Skills Assessment: including buoyancy, swimming, safety
  • Complete EcoDiver Course
  • Pass a written ID test – 90% to pass
  • Participate in a field practice and test

EcoDivers are certified for the region in which they were trained. If you would like to transfer to a new region (e.g., Pacific to Caribbean), you will need to purchase the e-kit for the new region and pass an ID test of indicators for the new region.

Check off the Training Facility option at Coordinators and Teams to find a certified Reef Check training facility at your next diving destination!

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