CoralWatch, Great Barrier Reef
Developed across the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef complex, is the CoralWatch program. This is an example of one of the many established citizen science projects, with the aim of monitoring the coral’s health and inspiring others to get involved. Their Coral Health Chart provides a simple way for people worldwide to quantify coral health and contribute to the CoralWatch global database. Their key focus lies in monitoring, education and outreach, and so far they have helped to promote behavioural change globally.
This easy to use kit can be used on any reef across our oceans and data uploaded to their global database, meaning you can actively help safe the reef whilst either; exploring the reefs and ruins of Belize and Mexico, protecting manta ray species in Raja Ampat or in-between swimming with minke whales on Australia’s Ribbon Reefs, to name a few.
Citizen science projects are becoming that all important bridge between science and society. A concept easy to grasp and utilised by local communities allows them to make a valued contribution to data collection, as well as the conservation process. This empowers them with responsibility and generates a much-needed awareness of basic research and its positive impact on the preservation of marine ecosystems and therefore, society.
Modern technologies are making citizen science more accessible than ever, and the ocean’s health is largely reliant on the success of these projects. Your desire to incorporate work on similar initiatives into your adventures around the globe can make a great impact.