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Disturbance Response Monitoring (DRM) program

FWRI’s Coral Program is now home for the Florida Reef Resilience Program’s (FRRP) Disturbance Response Monitoring (DRM) program. Recently transitioned from The Nature Conservancy, DRM was developed for monitoring shallow reef systems from Martin County to the Dry Tortugas to better understand how rising sea temperatures will affect Florida’s coral reefs.  The DRM program is the largest, collaborative volunteer-based coral monitoring effort in the world and brings together partners across the jurisdictions of the Florida Reef Tract.  The data generated by the DRM provides reef managers with an annual assessment of the extent of coral bleaching and disease and its potential impacts on the Florida reef system. 

FWRI’s newly acquired DRM program is highly complementary to their existing long-term coral monitoring programs and will continue to be a critical component in providing field-based coral health information to reef managers and reef researchers. 

Since 2005 the Disturbance Response Monitoring program, has focused on monitoring for the effects of warming waters on corals; however, due to the continued coral disease outbreak known as Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) first observed in 2014, the DRM program has been modified to collect detailed monitoring data on diseased corals.  The DRM program has been tracking the spread of the disease, its severity, and what species it is affecting.  Disease data generated by the DRM program provides critical coral health information to reef managers and reef scientists, so that they can better target any intervention and coral rescue efforts.  Learn more about the DRM program and download summary reports on the program website.