Underwater Volunteers NSW (UVNSW) comprises a group of community-based marine-focused organisations located along the entire NSW coastline dedicated to the provision of accurate and robust data on principally sub-tidal ecosystems. A number of protocols have been developed to ensure standardisation of activities, methods and outputs between groups, thus providing valuable data, over large scales, to fill existing knowledge gaps and assist with sustainable management of coastal resources.
Groups are provided with adequate training, quality assurance and quality control procedures to provide state government agencies charged with managing NSW’s marine environment with reliable data to inform management decisions. Besides capacity building in these organisations, engagement in marine knowledge and conservation activities can be individually rewarding, fulfilling personal and group desires for more constructive diving activities. UVNSW provides an opportunity for collaboration between volunteer SCUBA divers, marine managers and scientists to achieve positive conservation outcomes.