The nonprofit group Reef Monitoring, Inc. has received a grant for $8,400 from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to monitor fish populations in two reefs over the course of one year. RMI will partner with the aquarium to carry out the fish monitoring project.
“We are proud to announce this joint venture with CMA,” said Dr. Heyward Mathews, lead scientist at RMI and original creator of the Clearwater Marine Science Center. “This grant and partnership will enable RMI to monitor fish populations on the Clearwater Artificial Reef and nearby natural reefs for the next year. Tracking these populations will help us gain a more accurate assessment of what type of fish live off the reefs and how many. This project will partner CMA divers with scientists from St. Petersburg College, Clearwater Campus, and we are very appreciative of their support and dedication.”
RMI was established in 2010 to organize marine scientists to protect and preserve natural and artificial reef systems. The group monitors and improves near-shore marine communities, advances sustainability and works to build support for ongoing marine conservation.
The group also provides educational programs. RMI currently monitors three artificial and two natural reefs off the Pinellas County coastline.
The group is based in Clearwater.