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Bleu World’s Citizen Science Research on Catalina Island

By: Olivia Hughes, Bleu World Corporation Treasurer

Diving In

In 2023, three ocean-minded SCUBA divers launched Bleu World Corporation, a Southern California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness for our ocean, increasing accessibility to marine science, and building a community of ocean changemakers. Bleu World is committed to promoting grassroots efforts to protect, understand, and conserve the underwater world. This year, our focus turns to studying the secrets of the sea, particularly those hidden in the kelp forest ecosystems of Southern California, as we launch the Catalina Monitoring Program.

Gearing Up

The Catalina Monitoring Program will grow a comprehensive dataset that can be used to monitor the kelp forests on Catalina Island for years to come. As climate change continues to impact these ecosystems, long-term monitoring becomes crucial in identifying changes and taking proactive conservation measures. 

The program’s objective is to construct an accurate and up-to-date health model by measuring fish abundance with REEF, tracking population sizes and migration patterns of critically endangered species with UCSB, and surveying marine debris ranges with PADI AWARE. Through collaboration and the analysis of existing datasets, this initiative aims to significantly advance our collective understanding of kelp forest ecosystems.

The Catalina Monitoring Program is more than just a research project; it’s a call to action for everyone who cares about the future of our oceans. This initiative will provide a rich dataset to scientists at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and policymakers at the Catalina MPA Collaborative. The insights gained will lay the foundation for increased protection and continued conservation efforts aimed at preserving the health and diversity of our oceans.

Join the Journey

As we embark on this exciting journey, our team invites fellow ocean enthusiasts, citizen scientists, and conservation divers to join us in the field for the Catalina Monitoring Program’s inaugural survey season. 

Our mission at Bleu World goes beyond the scientific; it’s about fostering a connection between people and their environment. This isn’t just about data collection; it’s about understanding, protecting, and preserving the kelp forests that are essential to the health of our oceans and the protection of our coastal communities. By participating in our surveys, you become a guardian of Catalina’s kelp forests, contributing to a legacy of understanding and conservation.

Whether you’re an experienced diver, a budding scientist, or simply passionate about our oceans, there’s a role for you. Follow our updates, participate in surveys, and help us unravel the mysteries of Catalina’s kelp forests.

In the vast expanse of the ocean, every drop counts. The Catalina Monitoring Program is our collective drop – a ripple of change that amplifies with each survey, each discovery, and each committed participant. Together, let’s dive into a future where our oceans thrive, and the beauty of Catalina’s kelp forests endures for generations to come. Learn more at bleuworld.org!

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