Coral Reef Monitoring through citizen-science
Monitoring the state of coral reefs helps identify warning signs of bleaching and detect stressors in order to better target policies to protect them.
Given the scale of the areas to be covered in the world, reef-monitoring organizations have since long developed programs to enable non-scientists to take part in surveys. Yet the training provided is often costly, and the participants tend to be volunteer scuba divers, which restricts the pool of participants and excludes in practice most of the inhabitants of coastal areas.
In 2002, the University of Queensland in Australia launched a citizen science program named CoralWatch in order to enable global monitoring of coral bleaching. Since January 2020, we have been using their easy and cost-efficient methodology to enable local communities to monitor the state of the reefs.
Filipino freedivers, as well as confident snorkelers willing to learn more about this program, are encouraged to reach us. Any survey at depth is run by a group of two to guarantee safety, and volunteers receive compensation of 1,000php for every two surveys.
*our last survey happened on March 29, 2020. The program is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 situation and will resume once the enhanced community measures are lifted.