The beautiful, rugged Big Sur coast

The beautiful, rugged Big Sur coast

With ragged bluffs that have been battered for centuries by frothing swells, hidden meadows and secluded beaches, it’s no wonder why people love Big Sur so much.

The one hundred miles of the Big Sur coast of California is one of the most remote, unique and pristine stretches of marine resources along the west coast of North America. But the same remoteness that results in less fishing pressure and puts it out of reach of polluting industries and human population centers, also makes it difficult for scientists to study and manage this area. In this era of global environmental stressors like ocean acidification, rising sea temperatures and the vast reach of plastic pollution, the knowledge of what changes are occurring in these ecosystems is key to successfully adapting management actions to protect these rich habitats.

To help research this area and document changes taking place, Reef Check is planning a special expedition this June that’s open to both Reef Check divers and other non-Reef Check recreational divers. In addition to conducting Reef Check surveys at each reef they stop at, they will document the work and the ecosystems they find using Google Ocean’s latest specialized underwater camera to take panorama or “underwater street view” photos. They will then upload these images to Google Maps to help raise awareness of the conservation issues in this unexplored ecosystem.

The expedition is being funded in part with a Kickstarter campaign, and contributors are needed to help make it happen. They need a total of $4,000 in support to make the expedition happen – so far they have about $2,000. For more information and to contribute, visit the Kickstarter campaign page by clicking here.


This expedition plans to depart Morro Bay on the 22nd of June 2015. If you are interested in participating please contact Anna Neumann ( or donation can be made to fund the project via kickstarter. More information on the expedition can also be found here.

Expedition cost: $350 (for Reef Check California certified surveyors) or $575 (for non-Reef Check California divers) for the 2-night live aboard trip.

Note: This trip relies on a successful Kickstarter campaign to be funded. In the event the campaign does not reach its goal, this expedition will be canceled, and all money will be refunded.