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Group Surveys San Diego Reefs

More than 200 volunteer divers have completed a statewide scientific survey of California's rocky reef ecosystems and now they're at it again. Divers will survey three sites in San Diego County starti

Group Surveys San Diego Reefs

More than 200 volunteer divers have completed a statewide scientific survey of California's rocky reef ecosystems and now they're at it again. Divers will survey three sites in San Diego County starting Friday at La Jolla Cove. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

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The effort is part of a statewide underwater survey of California reefs from Eureka to Baja.  

The reef check dive teams are looking for 73 "indicator species," such as spiny lobster and California sheephead fish.

The health of the reefs is determined by the type and numbers of the species found.

Cyndi Dawson with Reef Check California says volunteer divers collect scientific data on rocky reefs that are not being monitored.

One of those areas is La Jolla Cove.
Dawson: Establish a baseline of what's there now for the indicator species that we look for, what does the bottom look like, what does the kelp and the invertebrate and the fish species look like and then to assess that makeup over time.
She says long-term monitoring of the reefs will provide feedback to marine biologists responsible for managing the state's coastal waters.

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Ed Joyce, KPBS News.