The NOAA Coral Reef Watch program uses products derived from JPSS satellite data to provide current reef environmental conditions to quickly identify areas at risk for coral bleaching. Bleaching is the process by which corals lose the beneficial algae that give them their distinctive colors. If a coral is severely bleached, disease and death become likely. Healthy coral reefs provide a significant food source for over a billion people worldwide, buffer coastlines from erosion, and also provide jobs and income from fishing, recreation, tourism, and other reef-ecosystem based businesses. Satellite observations indicated that coral bleaching was widespread across the vast waters of the northern Pacific, including the Marshall Islands, Guam, the Mariana Islands, and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
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