Coral Reef Monitoring

A measuring device lays next to staghorn coral on the seafloor with white and brown patches
Several agencies monitor coral health in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: NOAA

Long-term and large-scale coral reef monitoring programs are essential to helping us understand the current condition of our coral reefs, threats that may be affecting the reefs, and impacts of these threats. Monitoring also helps us evaluate the effectiveness of conservation, management, and restoration efforts.

Three large-scale, long-term regional monitoring programs are conducted annually or biannually throughout Florida:

  • Disturbance Response Monitoring (DRM) program
  • Coral Reef Evaluation and Monitoring Project (CREMP)
  • National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP)

These programs provide crucial data on status and trends of fish, corals, and other benthic organisms throughout Florida's Coral Reef, allowing detailed comparisons between regions and habitats. These findings are used to guide research and management efforts to help preserve these critical ecosystems and the communities that rely on them.