About Us

For more than 20 years, NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW) has been using remote sensing, modeled, and in situ data to operate a decision support system (DSS) to help resource managers (our target audience), researchers, decision makers, and other stakeholders around the world prepare for and respond to coral reef ecosystem stressors, predominantly resulting from climate change and warming of the Earth's oceans.

Offering the world's only global early-warning system of coral reef ecosystem physical environmental changes, CRW remotely monitors conditions that can cause coral bleaching, disease, and death; delivers information and early warnings in near real-time to our user community; and uses operational climate forecasts to provide outlooks of stressful environmental conditions at targeted reef locations worldwide. CRW products are primarily sea surface temperature (SST)-based but also incorporate light and ocean color, among other variables.

Meet the NOAA CRW Staff

  • Derek Manzello, Ph.D. -- Federal Coordinator
  • Jacqueline De La Cour -- Operations Manager
  • Gang Liu, Ph.D. -- Senior Scientist/Oceanographer and Chief Product Developer
  • William Skirving, Ph.D. -- Senior Scientist/Oceanographer
  • Erick Geiger -- Scientist and Product Developer
  • Blake Spady, Ph.D. -- Scientist and Product Developer
  • Benjamin Marsh -- Product Developer and Programmer


    Access and download our publications.

    NOAA Coral Reef Watch Graphic Identifier

    Please follow these instructions for proper use.

    Coral Reefs and Climate Change

    Coral reefs are one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. Reefs support essential coastal fisheries, protect coasts from erosion, support local tourism and are sources of pharmaceuticals. Sustained high water temperatures, in conjunction with other natural and human-based stressors, may cause coral bleaching to become an annual event in most oceans. This could lead to a rapid decline in the health of coral ecosystems worldwide.

    Corals are very sensitive to stress caused by elevated water temperatures, bright sunny days, and calm water. Corals respond to stressful temperatures by expelling the symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) that live within their tissues and provide most of their food and characteristic color. While corals can recover from short-term, minor stress, they can starve and die if the stressful conditions continue for weeks or months. Coral bleaching has become much more severe and frequent in recent decades as sea temperatures have risen. For more information on coral bleaching, click here.

    Download PDF briefing documents about NOAA Coral Reef Watch

    Educational trifold brochure (last updated: April 2019)
    Our Decision Support System (DSS) for Coral Reef Management
    Applying our DSS to Coral Reef Management
    The 2014-2017 Global Coral Bleaching Event and Coral Bleaching in the Anthropocene

    Click here for a brief history of the early years (1997-2007) of the NOAA CRW program, as featured in "NOAA Celebrates 200 Years of Science, Service, and Stewardship".

    More about NOAA's coral reef activities

    Coral Reef Watch is part of a larger effort at NOAA to understand and protect coral reefs. For more information on NOAA's broader coral reef activities, please email Coral Reef Watch directly, or visit the Coral Reef Conservation Program website. You can also fax your question to: 301-713-4012, or mail it to:

    Attn: Outreach and Education
    NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, N/OCRM
    1305 East West Highway, 10th Floor
    Silver Spring, MD 20910-3281

    E-mail the Coral Reef Watch Coordinator
    E-mail the Webmaster

    NOAA Media and Communications contacts

    John Leslie
    NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service
    e-mail: John.Leslie@noaa.gov
    telephone: 301-713-0214

    Jennie Lyons
    NOAA's National Ocean Service
    e-mail: Jennie.Lyons@noaa.gov
    telephone: 301-713-3066

    Robin Garcia
    NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program Communications Director
    e-mail: Robin.Garcia@noaa.gov
    telephone: 240-533-0776