Thousands of divers take the plunge every year to marvel at the “Ocean’s Rainforest.” Some are beginners still learning the names of the brightly colored fish they see; some are experts that have explored most of the world’s reefs. Regardless of level of expertise, any diver can contribute to the WFCRC’s Long Term Diver Participation Program.
WFCRC teams with dive shops and individual citizen scientists to monitor coral health using a simple, easy-to-use color-matching chart that divers take down with them. Individuals then submit their findings to WFCRC’s database, or if part of a dive-shop sponsored tour, turn their findings into the tour guide, and have their efforts recorded for years to come.
WFCRC assigns a geographical coordinate to every data point that is gathered: so we know that the hypothetical piece of brain coral at (6° 8’59.82″N 118° 5’59.90″E) that was healthy and thriving, is showing color-specific signs of disease.
Not only can divers gather photos and locations of coral, a diver can observe and record aquatic data like surface temperature, and at depth, salinity and currents. By entering data into our database, the information also becomes a log book for the diver. Citizen researchers across the globe can join the ranks of other concerned conservationists to make a useful and long-lasting impact – turning a beautiful vacation outing into an effort that will help preserve the beauty for divers of the future.