It’s no secret that humanity is causing substantial damage the world’s coral reefs. Between pollution and direct-contact damage, those vital ecosystems are enduring damage that they can’t heal quickly enough to overcome. One of the first steps in slowing the damage we’re causing is to collect data on the health of coral reefs, and the Save Nemo Foundation is using Raspberry Pis to do that.

The Nemo Foundation has already been hard at work protecting coral reefs around Thailand and Indonesia. One source of damage to the reefs is diving — particularly deterioration caused by anchors from boats in popular destinations. To help reduce that, they placed concrete moorings in those areas so boats would have a safe place to tie off instead of dropping anchor. Now, they’re using those same moorings to the local water conditions with Raspberry Pi-based environmental sensors.

Each concrete mooring has a buoy floating on the surface above, so boats have a place to tie off. Inside those buoys, they’re placing Raspberry Pi Zero W computers outfitted with sensors to monitor water temperature, visibility, pH levels, CO2 concentration, and nitrogen oxide concentration. A solar panel provides power, and a GPS module keeps track of each Nemo-Pi’s exact location. In addition to the data these buoys provide scientists, there are also benefits for boat operators and divers. They can use that same data to check ahead of to see if the conditions are good for diving, which ultimately benefits the reefs.

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