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Operations Manual

The Palm Beach County Reef Research Team (Team) is a group of volunteer sport divers operating under the auspices of the Florida Oceanographic Society, a non-profit conservation organization. The Team's mission is to observe, collect, document and record scientific data for use in further enhancing our marine habitats. Through education we intend to inform the public of the need for protecting all reefs, both natural and man-made.

This document and its appendices constitute the Operations Manual for the Team. Its purpose is to establish the detailed procedures necessary to execute the team projects, to define the duties of positions appointed by the Executive Committee as allowed by the Bylaws, and to supply reference material necessary to operate the team.

Procedures are provided herein for conducting meetings, training, dives and report writing, and for the specialty topics of fish counting, invertebrate monitoring, mapping, and photo/video techniques for reef monitoring.

Changes to this document may be made by vote of the Executive Committee and incorporated herein by the Secretary.

Artificial Reef Monitoring Project

The primary Team project is the artificial reef monitoring program. It is partially funded under a grant from the Fish and Wildlife Comission of the State of Florida. This work is performed under funding from a two year grant awarded to the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management (ERM) by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC). The funding pays for dive boats and supplies, and the Team is the volunteer group that performs the work. All five Specialties (Fish Surveying, Invert Monitoring, Mapping, Photography and Videography) come in to play on the 27 sites covered by this grant.

Natural Reef Invert Monitoring Projects

The Team monitors several natural reefs in the county for invertebrate abundance and diversity as it's own project, unfunded by grant money. Additionally, annual monitoring surveys for ReefCheck (an international coral reef database center) are also conducted. Three different methods of invertebrate monitoring are used for this project, as well as photographic and videographic techniques.