How Does It Work?

Scuba divers, or any lover of water, join Project Baseline and become Project Managers by selecting at least one location that they commit to monitoring on a regular basis: yearly, monthly, weekly, the more the better but a specific periodicity is not mandated. They are encouraged to establish one or more specific stations to document and then to photograph those stations from a consistent point of view on every visit and, where possible, also collect basic data describing the environment. For starters, we suggest temperature, visibility (water clarity), and depth primarily because these measurements are commonly accessible to all divers.For all observations, our goal is to condition our teams to collect data in a consistent and reproducible manner thereby increasing the value of their observations and making them effective as potential partners in scientific collaborations. A quality control rank is provided for all data entered in the database and is a function of the instrumentation used for collection and the training and experience of the divers collecting the data. After the their dives, we ask our Project Managers to submit their images, data, and short narrative condition reports via email to our database manager who checks the submissions for consistency and uploads everything to the Project Baseline database.On the back end, our Program Director and Program Manager work to identify and promote collaborative relationships between our Project Baseline teams and other entities working to understand and/or protect the same water bodies and the ecosystems they support. They also work with internal and contracted media specialists to compile their images, narratives, objectives, and where applicable collaborative efforts into short documentary videos that are used to more effectively disseminate the team’s work to the broader public and to promote financial support for the individual teams. As of July 2015, we have ~60 active projects spanning 28 countries. 

Project Baseline has been at the forefront of increasing awareness of Florida reef decline as well as monitoring the health index for nearly 70 marine and freshwater environments world-wide since 2009. Watch as Project Baseline takes CNN underwater for special media coverage on Florida reefs -