The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program supports effective management and sound science to preserve, sustain and restore valuable coral reef ecosystems.
of special note...
Track our Current Mission to the Dry Tortugas. Divers will revisit 20 permanent survey sites within and outside of the Tortugas Ecological Reserve and conduct fish surveys. These sites were originally established in 2000, when the Tortugas Reserve was implemented by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and have been revisited every year from 2001ñ2005 and 2007. Learn about the objectives of this mission, view images, or read daily blogs from scientists participating in this mission by visiting the online mission log.
NOAA Releases Latest Assessment of U.S. Coral Reef Ecosystem Conditions. On July 7, NOAA released the third in a series of status reports assessing the condition of coral reef ecosystems in 15 locations ranging from the U.S. Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico to the western Pacific. The 569-page report, The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associate States: 2008 represents an evolving effort to assess the condition of coral reef ecosystems at local, regional, and national scales, and serves as a vehicle for the dissemination of information about data collection activities in the U.S. and Freely Associated States. Developed by NOAAís National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and supported by the Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), the report is structured to provide information according to the primary threats, topics, and goals outlined in the National Coral Reef Action Strategy and other guidance documents developed by NOAA's CRCP, the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, and its member organizations. More than 270 scientists and managers working throughout the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, the Atlantic and Pacific authored the jurisdiction-specific chapters of the report, and graded coral reefs and ecosystems on a five tier scale: excellent, good, fair, poor and unknown. Nearly half are now considered to be in ìpoorî or ìfairî condition.
CRCP Releases Roadmap for the Future: A plan for developing CRCP direction through 2015. In 2007 the CRCP solicited an external review to assess the program's effectiveness in achieving its mandates and provide recommendations for improving its impact and performance. In response to the review panelís recommendations and new program leadership, the CRCP has released Roadmap for the Future: A plan for developing CRCP direction through 2015 (pdf, 246 kb). This document sets the CRCP's future direction for FY 2010-2015 and leads the CRCP toward a more focused set of priorities. The Roadmap builds upon the CRCP's existing goals and objectives, the National Coral Reef Action Strategy and other previously developed plans to address threats, improve management, and reverse the degradation and loss of coral reef ecosystems. The document lays out new CRCP principles and priorities, the national-level responsibilities that the CRCP must address, and the processes by which the CRCP will implement the changes suggested. The CRCP will primarily focus its efforts on addressing coral reef management needs, and will do so by emphasizing work on understanding and addressing three key threat areas: the impacts of fishing, land-based sources of pollution and climate change. The CRCP will place greater emphasis on management-relevant science and develop coral conservation tools and products that are user-friendly. The Program will also strengthen its partnerships and leverage resources with coral reef managers at the federal, state, territorial, and local level.
Resource Roundup CD 2008: Now Available Online. The CRCP recently unveiled the 2008 Coral Reef Resources Roundup CD, a product of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Education & Outreach Working Group. The CD was compiled in celebration of the International Year of the Reef 2008; it contains lesson plans, student activities, videos, slide shows, electronic posters and background materials. The contents of this CD are now available for download.
CoRIS Releases Two New Tools: a Regional Portal and New Map Search. The NOAA Coral Reef Information System (CoRIS) announces the release of a new Regional Portal and an improved Map Search function. The Portal provides regional access to CRCP data and information, based on the regions defined in the State of Coral Reef Ecems of the United States and Pacific Freely Associated States: 2005 report. Portal pages for each region will include links to the CoRIS metadata and data for that region, as well as library materials, the relevant “State of the Reef” report section and other key regional documents, Marine Protected Areas in the region, and other items of interest about the region.
The new, improved Map Search is a Google™ Maps-based data and information discovery page developed for CoRIS by the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC). Using spatial tools, users can select an area, choose one or more data information topics and themes (data types), and query the resultant map. The user is then provided with a report, and direct access to specific products, data documentation (metadata), and other information. CoRIS is a CRCP-funded project managed by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) and houses all data and products produced by CRCP-funded projects, as well as other related information.
NOAA Delivers Report to Congress. On June 27, NOAA delivered the report, Implementation of the National Coral Reef Action Strategy: Report on U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Agency Activities from 2004 – 2006 to Congress. This report highlights the activities of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) from 2004 to 2006 to promote understanding of coral reefs and to reduce the threats to these valuable marine ecosystems. The report provides summaries and examples of the activities conducted by USCRTF members and their partners to fulfill the goals and objectives of the National Action Plan to Conserve Coral Reefs (2000) and the National Coral Reef Action Strategy (pdf 1.55 mb, 2002). As called for by the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 (pdf 36 kb, Pub. L. No. 106–562; 16 U.S.C. § 6401 et seq.), the report addresses each of the 13 goals detailed in the National Coral Reef Action Strategy and charts annual funding by federal agencies for activities directly related to the National Coral Reef Action Strategy. It also presents a brief analysis of the future opportunities and challenges facing coral reef ecosystems and the communities that depend on them. Highlights of activities include designation of the co-managed Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, coordinated interagency response to the 2005 Caribbean coral bleaching event, listing of Acropora coral species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and a status assessment of coral reefs following the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. This report will be available here in the future.
NOAA Releases Report on Local Action Strategies. The Report on the Status of Local Action Strategies to Conserve and Protect Coral Reefs for Years 2002-2006 (pdf, 6.29 mb) is a report to the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) from the USCRTF Steering Committee. It provides an overview of the progress that states, territories, federal agencies, and nongovernmental partners have made during years 2002–2006 in developing and implementing Local Action Strategies (LAS) to reduce threats to the Nation's coral reef ecosystems. The USCRTF initiated development of LAS in partnership with the U.S. All Islands Coral Reef Committee during the fall of 2002 to increase resources, coordination, and effectiveness of local coral reef conservation efforts in U.S. jurisdictions.
The document was prepared by NOAA in cooperation with the U.S. All Islands Coral Reef Committee and representatives from the USCRTF to highlight activities and accomplishments at the end of the first five years of the LAS initiative. The report describes the overall status of the LAS initiative including accomplishments, an overall project and funding summary, and an overview of the LAS process and funding for each jurisdiction. The final section presents a summary of lessons learned and recommendations for future phases of the LAS effort.
IYOR 2008 Messaging Campaign Releases PSAs. In celebration of International Year of the Reef 2008 (IYOR 2008), the Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation led the development of a U.S. Messaging Campaign. The overarching theme for the campaign is: 'Coral reefs for health, for wealth, for life,' which recognizes the value of coral reef ecosystems. In addition, to complement the tag line of 'Every Act Counts', three nationwide action messages were developed that can be used to raise awareness of the effects of everyday actions on coral reefs. Two local messages are also being developed for regions of the U.S. that contain reefs. For more information on these action messages, or to download free copies, visit www.iyorcreative.com. To view the new PSAs developed for these messages, visit www.iyor.org/tv. Everyone is encouraged to participate in IYOR 2008; we welcome you to learn more about the international efforts for IYOR 2008 and how you can get involved.
|September 15, 2008
NOAA serves as co-chair of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force
Links to more information on coral reefs