Eye on the Reef is a reef monitoring and assessment program that enables anyone who visits the Great Barrier Reef to contribute to its long-term protection by collecting valuable information about reef health, marine animals and incidents.
There are a number of different ways that people can take part – depending on skill levels and commitment. Everyone's contribution is welcome and people from all walks of life from day trippers, tourists, fishers, Marine Park rangers, marine tourism staff and marine scientists are encouraged to get involved and report their observations to the Marine Park Authority.
Read about the highlights and outcomes of the Eye on the Reef program.
The Eye on the Reef Sightings Network is a community based program developed to capture the interesting, unusual and amazing experiences people have on the Great Barrier Reef. The Eye on the Reef app has been built specifically to empower anyone with a GPS enabled mobile phone to join this network of citizen scientists and contribute GPS tagged observations. Via the app you can submit photos of what you have seen out on the Reef. This can be anything from wildlife (including protected species) to pests like crown-of-thorns starfish, or marine pollution and coral bleaching, to special events like coral spawning. You can also use this app to help identify the wildlife you've seen and share your Eye on the Reef sighting photos directly to Facebook.
Our interactive Sightings Network map allows anyone in the world to see the amazing wildlife being encountered and recorded by visitors to the Great Barrier Reef. The website also mirrors the Eye on the Reef app in being able to accept sightings by manually entering your observations from the comfort of your home by using the simple drag-drop map feature.
Reef users with a little more time and experience may want to get more involved and use an underwater monitoring slate to record more specific keystone species and crucial Reef health observations. This is called the Rapid Monitoring Survey and observations can be uploaded through an online webpage for submission to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. An online multimedia training course is available to assist in completing these surveys.
For marine scientists, marine tourism operators and marine rangers, there are other surveys to get involved in that require more regular participation and commitment. These include Reef Health and Impact Surveys, that are run in partnership with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. There is also a Tourism Operators Weekly Monitoring Survey.
All information collected through the Eye on the Reef program is combined in a single data management and reporting system (Eye on the Reef Survey Activity map).This data provides Marine Park managers and researchers with up-to-date information on reef health status and trends, the distribution of protected and iconic species, and early warnings of environmental impacts. The data is available to all registered users.
To register your interest in the Rapid Monitoring program, visit the Eye on the Reef monitoring system homepage and click on Register.