The world’s coral reefs are threatened by the increased frequency of wide-spread bleaching events. Corals that experience thermal stress sometimes “bleach,” turning white as they expel symbiotic algae living in their tissue. In order to better understand coral bleaching, scientists need to know when and where corals are bleached and where reefs appear stressed.
The “Bleach Patrol” are citizen scientists, surfers, divers, and general enthusiasts working together to map out the extent of global coral bleaching. Anyone with a smartphone or internet access and enthusiasm for being part of a global scientific campaign can help!
The project is a collaboration between the World Surf League, the social networking app goFlow, and scientists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Our goal is to compile a global, constantly updated data set of coral bleaching and reef health.