Protecting Marine Life Through Education, Service, and Research

REEF was founded in 1990, out of growing concern about the health of the marine environment, and the desire to provide the SCUBA diving community a way to contribute to the understanding and protection of marine populations.


REEF conserves marine environments worldwide. Our mission is to protect biodiversity and ocean life by actively engaging and inspiring the public through citizen science, education, and partnerships with the scientific community.


REEF envisions divers and marine enthusiasts actively engaging in marine conservation. With knowledge, training and the opportunity to get involved, these marine citizen scientists make significant and ongoing contributions through REEF’s strategic partnerships with government agencies, science and academic institutions, the non-profit sector, and local communities. Divers and snorkelers are in a unique position to observe and document the many valuable and vulnerable living marine resources. They play an important role in bringing information to the surface that adds to the knowledge base of ocean ecosystems and facilitates informed decision-making. Through REEF’s efforts, marine citizen scientists impart an ethic of stewardship to current and future generations.

Overview of Programs

REEF accomplishes its mission through four main programs: the Volunteer Fish Survey Project (citizen science fish monitoring), Invasive Species Program (invasive lionfish removals, detection, and removal of other potential invaders), Grouper Moon Project (endangered species spawning aggregation research), and Explorers Education Programs (formal and informal education with various age groups). The organization has a broad geographic reach, and its work focuses on direct impact with local communities. For more details on each of these programs, visit the About pages in the Programs menu of our website.