CoralWatch volunteer using the Health Chart while reef walking


CoralWatch is a non-profit organization, built on a research project at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. It is our aim to provide hands-on monitoring and education tools to increase awareness of reef threats and encourage behaviour change towards a sustainable, low-carbon future. We ask you to please help by using our DIY kit* to monitor your local reefs, or any that you visit.

Our main research tool is the Coral Health Chart. This Chart is basically a series of sample colours, with variation in brightness representing different stages of bleaching/recovery, based on controlled experiments. It is an inexpensive, simple, non-invasive method for the monitoring of coral bleaching and assessment of coral health. In the field, users simply compare colours of corals with colours on the chart and record matching codes. With the help of the Health Charts, anyone in the world can monitor the health of any reef across the globe.

Our new book “Coral Reefs and Climate Change: the guide for education and awareness” will help you to get a good understanding of coral reef threats and what we can do today to create a better future for our reefs. Read more

Our database provides up-to-date data on reef conditions worldwide. We continually need more data to measure trends and improve our understanding and capacity to conserve reefs. Please remember to enter all of your real data onto this CoralWatch website. If you enter your data from the reef you visited, a graph will be created for you, showing the health of that reef.

We collaborate with Project AWARE Foundation, a non-profit environmental organisation working with divers to conserve underwater environments through education, advocacy and action. Project AWARE have registered over 1,000 CoralWatch operators worldwide, making it easy for divers and snorkelers to get involved. You can view a list of participating dive centres, or find out more, by visiting

Project AWARE Foundation helps us to support an expanding network of volunteers engaged in coral health monitoring, while building capacities of communities to respond to climate change and coral bleaching events.

*You can request a free DIY Coral Health Monitoring Kit by contacting us at or clicking on the link on the Home Page. The chart is currently available in English, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish.

Coral Health ChartBackground
The chart was developed in 2002 by scientists at the University of Queensland, Australia. World leading vision and colour experts at the former VTHRC (Vision, Touch and Hearing Research Centre) and world leading coral experts at CMS (Centre for Marine Studies) collaborated and developed a method of coral health monitoring which uses simple colour charts, similar to paint colour matching charts.

Current attempts to monitor coral bleaching often involve costly satellite-born technologies, are restricted to locations researchers are working in and often require sampling of live tissue for physiological analysis. Our coral reef monitoring approach using colour charts is the first attempt to provide useful data on a relatively large scale with the help of an inexpensive, ‘user friendly’ and non-invasive device.

The colour charts can be used by anyone - scientists, school children, tourists and politicians. Importantly, the opportunity for everyone to participate in a global reef-monitoring project removes the sense of hopelessness felt by many in the face of outcomes predicted from global warming. With this monitoring program we also aim to educate the public about coral bleaching and its devastating effect on coral reefs.

CoralWatch is supported by

    The University of Queensland   Project AWARE     CRC Sustainable Tourism


Coral species are the second most endangered species set on the planet, coming in only behind frogs.