This satellite-based monitoring system is sure to accelerate action on the coral reefs before it is too late!

Our environment is being damaged every second. Starting right from the bottom and slowly covering the whole of the earth and everything! Even the coral reefs. Various reasons are leading to the depletion of the coral reefs, and one such reason is coastal developments that affect the beaches both directly and indirectly. Besides that there are many other reasons like the overexploitation of critical species, fish bombing and the run-off of sedimentation from the deforestation and other land activities being carried out on the earth, somewhere or the other. The earth is a connection of biodiversities, and everything is connected to one another, and therefore an effect on one leads to an impact on the other.

Remote sensing applications in coral reef environments have taken the form of monitoring tools. Another large-scale monitoring system that can detect the change in the coral reefs in real time and can take preventive measures then and there is being introduced soon. This massive monitoring system is  the product of a partnership between Paul G. Allen Philanthropies, Planet, the Carnegie Institution of Science, the University of Queensland, and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology aided with a number of features including reduction in data acquisition costs, increased variety of platforms, access to satellite images and processing capabilities. 

Combining technology with field survey data, the monitoring system would provide with high-resolution satellite image running the data through cloud computing-based artificial intelligence and eradicates the environment distortions and classifies the reefs using algorithms from ocean researchers. Researchers, scientists, biologists and natural resource managers would then be able to monitor changes including coral recovery after bleaching events.

Initially, the project is aimed to produce a mosaic of coral reef at the five selected coral reef site namely the Heron Island on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, Moorea in French Polynesia, Belize's Lighthouse Reef, Hawaii's Kaneohe Bay and Karimunjawa, off the Indonesian Island of Java. These sites constitute a diverse range of reef types, and the field verification data is readily available. Further, the plan is to scale the mapping from regions to entire sites and deploy the AI based alert systems. 

With a global rollout in 2020, this system will allow the researchers to keep an eye on the bleaching events and take adequate measure to control this depletion at a worldwide level. Coral reef conservation efforts will soon get a significant boost with a global monitoring system that will detect physical changes in coral cover at high resolution on a daily basis, enabling researchers, policymakers, and environmentalists to track severe bleaching events, reef dynamiting, and coastal development in near-real time.