Florida’s reefs dying from ongoing disease outbreak

Coral disease has emerged as a serious threat to coral reefs worldwide.  Hawaii strives to be proactive in its management and has developed programs, such as EOR, to respond to disease outbreaks.  Florida has a disease outbreak that has been ongoing since 2014 and has spread from Miami down into the Florida Keys.  This dire situation warns all coral reef managers of the extent of the danger that can occur from disease outbreaks.  Please take a  look at the overview of the disease outbreak Florida has provided. Disease Overview_Final 2018.05.15


Coral reefs of yesteryear

Each generation of young ocean explorers enters the water for the first time and is amazed at the wonders of the undersea world, not knowing how coral reefs looked in yesteryear.   This is called a “shifting baseline”.   The booklet,  2012 Reef Reminiscences Booklet, interviews select pioneer marine biologists to get their memories of how glorious our oceans once were.  I recommend anyone that loves the ocean and coral reefs, to take a look at this booklet to see what we have lost, so that we can renew the fight for what we still have!

EOR members help scientists unravel pufferfish die-off mystery

In 2010, pufferfish (Arothron hispidus) around the state were dying in large numbers.  EOR members were quick to send in reports of dying fish giving scientists valuable information on how widespread and extensive the die-off was. (more…)

EOR members take action & clean up the reefs

A group of divers on Maui have been ridding their reefs of unwanted garbage.  Shawn Jezerinac, Lloyd Johnson, Bryan Sherman, Clayton, Bill Epplett, and Sharon Woloshen have removed almost 1000 lbs of discarded fishing line, weights, hooks, and other garbage.  A big mahalo to these dedicated souls for working to make Hawaii’s reef healthy!


Video explaining coral bleaching

Interesting video on corals

Video of bleaching off Kahe Point, Oahu

Thanks to Dr. Bruce Carlson for submitting this video!!

How do I report coral bleaching?

The Eyes of the Reef Reporting form might look a little intimidating at first, but it’s not really that bad, trust us! Your observations are very valuable to resource managers, so please take a moment to go though these images that were designed to help you understand what the form is asking. You can make a report any time you get in the water, whether you see bleaching or not – that is considered data too and managers want to hear about it! Thank you for your citizen science stewardship efforts! (more…)


The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have issued alerts regarding the record ocean temperatures in our state waters and the subsequent coral bleaching that is being observed. Unfortunately, these conditions are expected to last into November or December.  With your reports and monitoring by scientists and Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR),  DAR and NOAA aquatic biologists are able to record the extent of the bleaching and subsequent recovery or mortality.   For more information on the current bleaching alerts in Hawai‘i, visit NOAA coral bleaching website.

Thank you for reporting the coral bleaching occurring in your area. State aquatic biologists and scientists are monitoring reef conditions and compiling data. YOUR REPORT Is INVALUABLE and is providing much needed information. Please keep submitting reports as you see bleaching in new areas.  To make a report, use the form links on the top of the EOR website.

Why are Hawaii’s corals bleaching? 2015 FAQ

What is coral bleaching?

Coral bleaching is the loss of color from coral tissue allowing the white skeleton to show through.

Coral’s have an important relationship (symbiosis) with single-celled algae (zooxanthellae), which live in their tissues. The zooxanthella provides food for the coral and in return the coral provides a stable home for the algae. Most of the coral’s nutrition comes from the algae. Coral bleaching is the loss of color from the colony when the algae are expelled from the coral polyps and then the white coral skeleton is visible through the transparent coral tissue.

Partially bleached brown lobe coral (Porites evermanni)

Partially bleached brown lobe coral (Porites evermanni)

Close up of bleached coral polyps on brown lobe coral surrounded by healthy tissue

Close up of bleached coral polyps on brown lobe coral surrounded by healthy tissue

Why are our corals bleaching this year? (more…)

About Eyes of the Reef….

The Eyes of the Reef Network (EOR) is an effective statewide reporting system that enables all community members and ocean users to contribute to the long-term protection of our local reefs.

Pollution, climate change, poor land practices and increasing recreational and extractive activities create environmental conditions on coral reefs that foster coral disease and coral bleaching, support the spread of invasive species, and threaten reef health. Without initial sightings by the local “eyes” on our reefs, such occurrences may go unnoticed until it is too late.


EOR offers free trainings to give people with all levels of ocean knowledge – community members, reef users, tourists, fishers, commercial operators, scientists, and reef managers – the skills to identify and report threats to Hawai‘i’s reefs. We also offer local monitoring and educational support in your area. Contact your Island Coordinator to learn more about the programs available in your area.

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