Reefkeeping Community Mourns Caitlin Lee

27 Feb, 2021

Caitlin Lee
1987-2021

Caitlin Lee, born May 29th, 1987, a New York native, passed away unexpectedly on February 13th, 2021. She was a friend to many in the reef aquarium community, who are collectively stunned by her untimely passing.

Within the aquarium community, Caitlin is perhaps best known in the marine aquarium world for her time spent as a Sr. Blogger for Reefs.com in 2014 and 2015. She started her own wider-ranging blog, Reef Musings, in 2014, and ran it through 2018. Caitlin also worked with Quality Marine as a content producer from 2015 through 2018. In late 2020, she once again returned to involvement in the aquarium industry, having begun a relationship with Marc Levenson of Melev’s Reef and Reef Addicts. Caitlin had recently started joining Marc on the company’s livestreams discussing various reef-aquarium-centric topics.

A candid moment captured during a guest appearance by Caitlin with Marc Levenson in 2017.
A candid moment captured during a guest appearance by Caitlin with Marc Levenson in 2017.

Friends and family remember her as a passionate person with great attention to detail. She loved the ocean and the life that dwells within. Outside of the marine aquarium world, Caitlin enjoyed the culinary arts, having trained at the Culinary of Academy of Long Island. Caitlin also shared deep affection for canines, and worked as a dog trainer. She is survived by her beloved Jack (short for Jackie).

With an eye for beauty and aesthetics, Caitlin not so publicly exercised her artistic talents to express her love for aquatic life. These are just a few examples that were shared privately in conversations over the years with CORAL editor Matt Pedersen:

A work in progress…
And later, complete.
Caitlin Lee’s take on Micropterus salmoides, the Largemouth Bass.

Caitlin shared the privilege of confidence with many friends and was never hesitant to share comfort and support with even casual acquaintances, drawing from her own life experiences. She faced challenges with optimism and a wicked sense of humor. Ultimately, the consensus may well be that the best was yet to come for Caitlin, and her friends in the aquarium realm now mourn that we will never see that potential realized.

To learn more about Caitlin’s life from fellow reef keepers, and to add your own thoughts and images, please visit our Remembrance page for Caitlin Lee on CORALmagazine.com.

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About the author

Matt Pedersen

Matt Pedersen is a Sr. Editor and Associate Publisher with Reef To Rainforest Media, LLC & CORAL Magazines, and is a Sr. Editor and Publishing Partner with Aquatic Media Press, LLC & AMAZONAS Magazine. Matt has kept aquariums for 38 years, has worked in most facets of the aquarium trade, is an active aquarist and fish breeder (both marine and freshwater), and was recognized with the 2009 MASNA Award as the MASNA Aquarist of the Year.

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