Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium - Sarasota, Florida


The initial onset of mass coral bleaching can vary in the species
affected, geographic location, types of reef zones and a fluctuation of
severity, which makes it very difficult to predict where or when it will
occur. The Florida Keys BleachWatch program, modeled after the Great
Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's volunteer monitoring program also
known as BleachWatch, utilizes volunteers to provide reports from the
reef on the actual condition of corals throughout the bleaching season.
Depending on how frequently you visit the reef there are two different
ways that you can report coral bleaching.

BleachWatch Professional
The Professional program is for divers who visit a particular reef on a
regular schedule. Weekly monitoring of these reefs will help gauge the
pre-bleaching coral composition and help determine the susceptibility of
your site to bleaching. After a short training session, the Professional
BleachWatch team is provided with an information packet along with data
forms that take about 10 minutes a week to fill out. The packet includes
instructions on filling out the data form along with an underwater
wristband reference key to help remember key points while observing. The
forms are available online, and can be printed, filled out and sent to the project coordinator, or can be completed online

BleachWatch Community
The Community program is designed for observers who make occasional reef
trips or do not frequent the same reef sites. We have provided an online
form for your convenience and can be printed if you would like to record
your data immediately after you dive. Remember, a report of no bleaching
can be just as important as a report of bleaching!

The data collected from the BleachWatch Observers will be compiled and
summarized along with the information evaluated from environmental
monitoring efforts. This information will be compiled into a Current
Conditions Report and will be available online monthly, weekly, or
biweekly depending on the severity of the climate conditions.

If you have questions about either program, or need help filling out the
data form, please contact Cory Walter,  BleachWatch Coordinator, at Mote Marine Laboratory - (305)745-2729 ext. 301 

Funding Provided By:


Mote Marine Laboratory - Tropical Research Laboratory
24244 Overseas Highway, Summerland Key, Florida 33042
(305)745-2729 - (305) 745-2730(FAX) -

"Current Conditions Report" provides a summary of NOAA's coral bleaching early warning products and reports from trained Florida Keys observers.

Network of Volunteer Observers

Compile Reports of Coral Condition

Compliments other Mote Research Programs Related to Coral Bleaching