RECONsidering Coral
By: Cathy Asato
Loretta Lawrence instills her love of coral reefs in students and divers as an instructor in the RECON reef monitoring program.

Reef Keeping
By: Nancy Klingener
Our coral reefs face many problems, but there are signs of hope. Here are some things you can do to help coral reefs.

(Reef Condition) is a rapid monitoring protocol for divers.

RECON (Reef Condition) is a low-tech, rapid monitoring protocol for divers and students with an interest in marine conservation.


“Low-tech” because the only equipment needed to conduct RECON is a special data sheet attached to a slate with a pencil and a 10-meter survey line.


“Rapid” because once you have learned how to correctly perform a survey, you should be able to complete a RECON survey during a 40-45 minute dive with a dive buddy.


The RECON Program assesses the health of certain large (at least 25 cm diameter) stony corals, identifies their major stressors and characterizes their habitat.


RECON was developed because there are not enough reef managers and scientists to adequately monitor the condition of most reefs.  For example, temporary outbreaks of disease are fairly common, yet when they start, how long they last, and which organisms are affected is still largely unknown.  Divers can help bridge this information gap. 


RECON will help to serve as an early warning system to reef managers and scientists during massive bleaching events, disease outbreaks, and blooms of nuisance bacteria and algae. Positive indicators like increases in numbers of stony coral recruits or Diadema population will also be reported. 

For a first hand account of RECON diver training, read the article in the February 2002 issue of Dive Training click on the magazine above.

Soon we will have an online interactive RECON Database.  Features will  include an online data entry form and online data retrieval.

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For Divers Den
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For Instructors  Corner