Eyes of the Reef Network
|The Eyes of the Reef Network was developed to increase public awareness and engage communities in the monitoring and reporting of coral bleaching and disease, marine invasive species and Crown-of-Thorn Sea Star (COTS) outbreaks. The statewide network is the first tier of a rapid response protocol developed by the Division of Aquatic Resources and the Climate Change and Marine Disease Local Action Strategy, implemented by Reef Check Hawai‘i. The Eyes of the Reef network is comprised of regular reef users (including recreational users, tourism professionals, researchers, and fishers) who voluntarily monitor and report on conditions at reefs that they visit regularly.|
|The Eyes Of The Reef network can make a difference.|
|Pollution, climate change, and poor land use practices create environmental conditions that foster coral disease and coral bleaching, support the spread of invasive species and threaten reef health. Detecting the early signs of any of these events on our local reefs requires a wide network of observers providing regular reports of conditions throughout the region. The Eyes of the Reef network has been designed to provide reliable reports on bleaching, disease, and changing reef conditions throughout Hawai‘i.|
|Coral Bleaching & Disease|
|Even small environmental changes may lower coral’s resistance to disease or bleaching. There are many types of disease that can spread quickly, some extremely virulent. In recent decades, the unusually high water temperatures caused by climate change have been the major cause of coral bleaching events worldwide. When water temperatures increase above average, severe and widespread bleaching can occur (known as a ‘mass-bleaching event’). Detecting the early signs of mass-bleaching or coral disease is critical so that action can be taken to minimize the damage from these events.
To learn more about Coral Bleaching, click here.
|Crown of Thorns Sea Stars and Marine Invasive Species:|
|Invasive species can be introduced or native marine species can spread out of control, often as a response to environmental changes. If left unchecked, these events can be devastating to our reefs. Early detection is critical in controlling COTS outbreaks and invasive algae and invertebrates.
To learn more about Crown of Thorns Sea Stars, click here.
|We need your help!!|
|Hawai‘i’s reefs are numerous and widespread and scientists and managers are only able to monitor a small fraction of them. More trained eyes are needed to catch these events early on. Without these initial sightings by the local “eyes” on our reefs, such occurrences may go unnoticed until it is too late.|
|How can you join?|
|Whether you are a recreational ocean user, recreational or commercial fisherman, tourism operator, researcher or student, you can help us learn more about when and where these events occur by keeping an eye out for signs of change when visiting the reef. Participation is simple: attend a training workshop and use your eyes!
For information on joining the Eyes of the Reef network or getting trained to identify coral disease:
Phone: (808) 953-4044
Mail: PO Box 4238
Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744
|Download Eyes of the Reef Report Forms|
|Complete packet (Instructions, Coral Bleaching and Disease, and Invasive Species)
Coral Bleaching and Disease