The cooling water discharged from the coastal plants flow into the sea continuously, whose temperature is higher than original sea surface temperature (SST). The fact will have non-negligible influence on the marine environment in and around where the plants site. Hence, it’s significant to monitor the temporal and spatial variation of the warm-water discharge for the assessment of the effect of the plant on its surrounding marine environment. The paper describes an approach for the dynamic monitoring of the warm-water discharge of coastal plants based on the airborne high-resolution thermal infrared remote sensing technology. Firstly, the geometric correction was carried out for the thermal infrared remote sensing images acquired on the aircraft. Secondly, the atmospheric correction method was used to retrieve the sea surface temperature of the images. Thirdly, the temperature-rising districts caused by the warm-water discharge were extracted. Lastly, the temporal and spatial variations of the warm-water discharge were analyzed through the geographic information system (GIS) technology. The approach was applied to Qinshan nuclear power plant (NPP), in Zhejiang Province, China. In considering with the tide states, the diffusion, distribution and temperature-rising values of the warm-water discharged from the plant were calculated and analyzed, which are useful to the marine environment assessment.