Gulf Guardian Award Winners 2006
Bi-National Category - 3rd Place
Beginning in November of 2003, the Veracruz Marine Park initiated a program with REEF to educate and involve the local dive community and dive businesses in a fish census program for the Park. Sra. Elvira Hinojosa Carvajal, Veracruz Marine Park director and Lad Akins, REEF Executive Director, have conducted 3 annual projects involving dive operators, divers and school children in Veracruz, Mexico. Results include the first detailed fish community descriptions have been documented, 2 new species of fish have been described, more than 90 divers trained in fish ID and census methods and 235 surveys completed from Veracruz waters. REEF has been working with volunteer divers since 1993 to educate enable and enlist their participation in documenting marine life and providing this resource to scientific and management users. In Mexico, REEF has worked closely with the National Marine Park system first in Cozumel, then since 2003 in Veracruz to train local divers and educate the public in fish identification and survey methodology.