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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

2014's Reef Alliance Day is Saturday, September 20th

Reef Alliance is an ocean conservancy program founded by Sub Sea Systems. Reef Alliance promotes education and conservation efforts by incorporating the message of sustainable diving into Sea TREK guided tours. The health of our business relies on the health of our oceans; we require that every Sea TREK operator and Sea TREK Guide take the Reef Alliance pledge.

The Reef Alliance Pledge says:

  •  Reef Alliance members will be committed to educating others, sharing their knowledge of eco systems and the importance of reef conservation

  • Reef Alliance members will protect the reef and its creatures from harm

  • Reef Alliance members will be aware of all equipment being used to explore the underwater world, making certain that no physical contact between nature and apparatus can cause any harm

  • Reef Alliance members will recover trash from the sea and recycle whenever possible

  • Reef Alliance members will use proper measures to maintain a healthy reef

  • Reef Alliance members will educate every guest about endangered species, reef conservation, and responsible diving practices

And finally Reef Alliance members pledge:

“It is my responsibility to respect and share the privilege of exploring our ocean realm with each and every guest. I pledge to take only photos and leave only bubbles. I am committed to behavior that assures the least amount of impact on our ecosystem.” 

 In addition to pledging our commitment to the health of the oceans, Reef Alliance members also proactively participate in cleanup programs and educational events around the world.

In 2009 Reef Alliance began hosting and taking part in an annual cleanup and awareness event. Originally, Reef Alliance would stage the event on Earth Day, which falls in April, however in 2011 we began to host our annual cleanup on Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Day, which falls in September. Our Sea TREK operators recover trash and debris from their local beach and reefs, while Sub Sea Systems’ corporate headquarters (located in Northern California – hours away from the beach) takes part in cleaning up local parks, rivers and waterways — preventing some trash from ever reaching the sea. We have even hosted an educational project for 5th graders and implemented a conservancy poster design contest.

Being a part of the International Coastal Cleanup has given Reef Alliance a measurable idea of the efforts our members make annually. The trash that is cleaned up is recorded onto data cards by each volunteer, and then collected by Ocean Conservancy. Each year Ocean Conservancy uses the data to create an annual report on the trash in our marine environments. This information is used to educate the public about the problems with waste, and the ways we can prevent trash from entering the sea.

This Saturday, September 20th, marks the 29th annual International Coastal Cleanup. Sea TREK operators worldwide will be participating in local beach and reef cleanup projects. As a thank you to our volunteers, Reef Alliance recognizes the operator who puts forth the best cleanup effort and honors them with the Reef Alliance Award. The criteria for the award includes: the efforts to promote the project, how many people attended, the amount of trash collected and the dedication of the operator and Guides. The last 2 years the award has gone to St. Lucia’s Sea Adventures for outstanding care and effort. Last year, 21 Sea Adventures staff members, friends and volunteers worked from 5am until 6pm collecting more than 1,000 lbs of trash, including: 4 car alternators, 250 oil bottles, and 627 plastic beverage containers. We look forward to seeing this year’s efforts and selecting the 2014 Reef Alliance Award winner.

If you have not signed up for the International Coastal Cleanup — please do. It is happening this Saturday, September 20th. You can find clean up locations here. Or create your own clean up here. Be sure to collect your data and send it into Ocean Conservancy! (Download the form here). If you wish to join Sub Sea Systems' corporate office team in our clean up efforts please email ASAP, or meet us at Marshall Gold Discovery State  Park in Coloma at 9am this Saturday.

Send in your project stories and photos to for a chance to be nominated for this year’s Reef Alliance Award. Watch for the results of the cleanup in an upcoming blog post!
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