Whenever possible, it is helpful to have information about the community health of the managed areas prior to a major disturbance event, so that comparisons can be made. Having baseline data will help to measure the severity of a disturbance event. Additionally, these data may help identify areas that are more resistant, or resilient when monitored over long periods of time. Some excellent examples of baseline monitoring programs have been implemented for this specific purpose. For examples, please review the following case studies included in this toolkit: Florida Keys, MesoAmerican Reef, and the Great Barrier Reef.
Many coral reef monitoring protocols and methods are available to managers. Several possible choices are listed below.
Monitoring Coral Reef Marine Protected Areas: A practical guide on how monitoring can support effective management of MPAs:
This document provides rationale and case studies for monitoring coral reef health, in addition to methods that can be adapted to the needs of a particular site or protected area.
Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN):
GCRMN has developed many monitoring resources including those for MPAs, Ecology, and Socioeconomic trends.
For information on monitoring protocols visit this area of the site. Among Reef Check’s goals is to create a global network of volunteer teams, trained in Reef Check's scientific methods, who regularly monitor and report on reef health.
Region-Specific Monitoring Programs
If you are based in one of these regions, you should contact the relevant program to determine if you wish to participate in a regional initiative.