CoralWatch, The University of Queensland

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.

Benjamin Franklin

Why I Support Them

I first started doing coral surveys with CoralWatch about 8 years ago. It was really the first time I started to learn more about different types of coral that I saw every day while diving.

CoralWatch monitoring is a great way for anyone who is in the water with coral to help add to a global database for researchers! Too often, people want to help, they want to do something but without extensive education or training they feel they cannot. CoralWatch gives citizen scientists a way to contribute! In nearly 20 years, they have collected data on over 300,000 corals in 78 countries. Get involved the next time you’re in the water, and check out their educational materials in the meantime.

Thank you CoralWatch for teaching all of us to be scientists and learn more about coral!

How They Help the Ocean

CoralWatch, founded in 2002, is a not-for-profit citizen science program based at The University of Queensland working with volunteers worldwide to increase understanding of coral reefs, coral bleaching and climate change.

CoralWatch integrates global coral health monitoring with education and public outreach creating reef awareness using simple and engaging tools. This provides people with accessible information about coral reefs and climate change, what can I/you do to help save the reef, and hands-on experience collecting scientific data on coral bleaching using the Coral Health Chart. The chart is an easy-to-use and validated tool used to quantify changes in coral colour associated with coral bleaching on the reef. It is so simple, no prior training is needed and anyone can get involved. The chart is used in the field and classroom and available in 12 languages. Data on >323.810 corals from >2.490 reefs in 78 countries is publicly accessible.

The Coral Health Chart is used by dive centres, schools, universities, conservation groups, tourists, governments and scientists. To get involved simply download a Do-it-Yourself kit, request a Coral Health Chart and you are ready to start monitoring.

CoralWatch also organizes community events, provides tailor-made workshops for communities, teachers and students, visits schools and has developed a range of high-quality educational materials such as books, factsheets, infographics and curriculum-linked lesson plans. Many of these are freely available.

Why Their Work is Important

You can monitor corals regularly or as a one off, but by taking the Coral Health Chart underwater and looking at coral colour, awareness is created – people are actively involved and will learn. Visiting schools and organizing outreach events with interactive displays informs communities about the importance about the reef and why we should all work together in saving the reef. CoralWatch has developed different materials such as factsheets, information flyers, quizzes and a book (in progress) for young and old providing information what you as a person can do to help save the reef. We try and guide people to make informed decisions towards a more sustainable future.