The global network has monitored and predicted all major mass coral bleaching events observed since the original, heritage 50km satellite products were first introduced in 1997, demonstrating Coral Reef Watch’s success as a mainstay of global coral reef environment monitoring.
Mass coral bleaching is one of climate change’s most visible marine ecological impacts. Mass bleaching events have become more extensive, frequent, and intense over the last 40 years. Remotely monitoring the coral reef environment and providing actionable information are critical for early detection, on-the-ground response, impactful communication, and the enhancement of coral reef resilience. The new 5km products provide service at or near reef-scales and allow for the direct monitoring of 95 percent of coral reefs globally.
Coral Reef Watch’s products have been instrumental in enhancing understanding of the connections between environmental conditions and ecosystem impacts. The ability to assess when reefs are vulnerable or resilient to climate change allows stakeholders, including resource managers, scientists, and decision makers, to prepare and prioritize resources to implement timely and effective protective responses and adaptation actions to improve coral reef management and regulation in a warming climate.
The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program was established in 2000 by the Coral Reef Conservation Act. Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, the program is part of NOAA's Office for Coastal Management.