Starting Your Own Project

By contributing to Project Baseline, you are joining a global team of concerned and invested citizens who share underwater observations, normally inaccessible to the public, with divers and non-divers alike. We welcome volunteer participation from all scuba divers and water lovers.

For more details about starting your own Project Baseline Project, or to inquire about getting involved with an existing Project, please contact us at info [at] projectbaseline.org. We're here to help you get started!

Before you begin we suggest you take a look at this guide to starting a baseline

There are five basic steps to start a project:

1. Decide where you would like your Project to be.

This could be anywhere you think is significant, or that you dive at regularly. This will be your Project Area. A Project Area is where a team would like to record data. This is an effort aimed at documenting a specific area or region. It should be one that holds perceived or proven environmental relevance, and/or is organically visited by Project Baseline divers for fun, training, or educational purposes. This could be, and often is, the place in your "backyard" that you regularly dive.

2. Establish the Site within your project area you would like to document.

Sites are the places a team visits within an average day of diving activity. Examples of Sites include, but are not limited to, wrecks, sections of rock or coral reef, portions of fresh and saltwater bodies, and/or coastal areas. In some instances, a Project Area and Site will be the same.

3. Pick your station(s) and record their GPS coordinates.

A Site must have at least one Station, but can have more. A Station is a specific location within a Site where data collection occurs. Every Station must be assigned geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) to be included in the Project Baseline database. Stations can be established on a horizontal or vertical plane, depending on your monitoring goals. Station coordinates are typically obtained using a handheld GPS unit, an on-board GPS, or by dropping a pin on a Google Earth map.

4. Submit an online application

We need to add your project to the database and can only do so if you submit the form below or clicking this link: http://www.projectbaseline.org/starting-your-own-project

5. Establish a “baseline” at your  Site.

Whatever form of data you decided to collect: temperature, depth, visibility, fish populations, photos, video transects, and/or photomosaics we need a starting point in our database. After you have gathered whichever data you decided is most relevant in your area please submit the data to our database manager via email. Her email address can be found here.

Notice for all Project Baseline volunteers:

No organization will ensure any level of safety any greater than you have on your own when you dive. If/when you are diving with others in support of Project Baseline, you do so the same as if you were out with friends. Do not expect anyone to ensure your qualifications or anyone you’re diving with. If you have doubts about any aspect of your Project Baseline dive, your diving partner(s) or team, you should find a diving buddy you trust, or choose not to participate.

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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 - http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2016/06/26/florida-dying-reefs-sanchez-nd.cnn