Volunteers will be searching for the damage to the island’s coral reefs caused by high water temperatures Saturday, and more people are needed.

They’re looking for coral bleaching, when corals go from their normal vibrancy to a whiteness close to death.

It’s primarily the result of stressed coral polyps expelling the algae living in their bodies.

”Corals can survive a bleaching event, but they are under more stress and are subject to mortality,” the NOAA writes.

The stress can come from many sources, but the primary concern for this search is the rising water temperature.

The program is straightforward, said Lindsey Kramer, coordinator for Hawaii Island for Eyes on the Reef.

“Go to your favorite reef,” she said, and see the condition of the reef, bleached or not. Then report the sightings through the short form on the EOTR website, eorhawaii.org.

There’s looking for the reef in a specific situation, she said.

“Basically, where do we stand at the worst of it,” she said, which allows for future planning.

“Scientists cant’t be everywhere, and reef managers can’t be everywhere, she said.

It’s not important that divers be able to recognize species, she said, as they are grouping the reports by shape for easy of identification.

“We initially conceptualized Bleachapalooza as an event for Maui that would provide a way for people to take positive action for our reefs by reporting coral bleaching. Once we started talking to our colleagues, it immediately became clear that this call for action should extend statewide,” said Darla White, Maui special projects coordinator for the Department of Aquatic Resources.

Starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Kahluu Beach Park to help divers with identifying the coral, if needed, Kramer said.

Some corals around the island are already beginning to show signs of bleaching, as temperatures rise to a projected peak on Saturday.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority of the Australian government believes that bleaching will become more frequent and severe, thanks to climate change. The increased planetary temperatures are expected to be reflected in the oceans and has been seen in the worsening bleaching, the GBRMPA said.