Reef Life Explorer is an interactive platform exploring the health of thousands of reefs worldwide. As part of the Reef Life Survey Program, hundreds of citizen science divers take to the ocean to measure and record the state of global reef ecosystems.
Reefs are underwater cities, teeming with a diversity of life unmatched anywhere in the ocean. They are intrinsically, socially and economically valuable – supporting the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people.
Our reefs are under increasing pressure from coastal development, seafood consumption, recreation and human-induced climate change. These factors are driving dramatic shifts that are largely out of sight – below the surface.
Reef Life Explorer makes this underwater world visible – allowing us to better understand global reef conditions and make informed, collective decisions that help protect these vital ecosystems.
To ensure our reefs thrive now and into the future, we need to track how reef life responds to environmental and human pressures. This requires meaningful measures of change that distil the complexity of reef ecosystems into simple indicators, allowing us to monitor their condition and health over time.
Just as blood pressure and body temperature measurements reflect our own health, ecological indicators reflect reef health. Reef health indicators summarise complex interactions between marine species, allowing us to create trend-lines and up-to-date maps to track the condition of reef ecosystems through time.