NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program
Fiscal Year 2008 Accomplishments
In fiscal year (FY) 2008 the National Oceanic andAtmospheric Ad-
ministration (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) re-
ceived over$29 million to support activities to conserve, manage, and
understand coral reef ecosystems in the U.S. and around the world. Be-
low are just afew of the many accomplishments of the NOAA CRCP
and its partners in FY08.
Released Its Roadmapfor the Future. In response to the rec-
ommendations that came out of its FY07 external program re-
view, the CRCP released a 'Roadmapfor the Future' to set the
program's direction for FY 2010-2015. The Program:
* Will primarily focus its future efforts on addressing coral The artist Wyland created a painting in honor ofln-
reef management needs in a cost-effective and efficient man- international Year of the Reef 2008. Wyland 2008
ner by understanding and addressing three key threat areas:
the impacts of fishing, impacts of land-based sources of pollution, and impacts of climate change; and
* Established three working groups to provide recommendations on the strategic goals and objectives it should work
towards to effectively address each of these three threats.
Lead NOAA Activities for IYOR 2008. International Year of the Reef 2008 (YOR 2008) was a year-long global cam-
paign to raise awareness of the importance of coral reef ecosystems, the threats they face, and additional conservation ac-
tions that are still needed. NOAA's participation in IYOR 2008 included:
* Launching IYOR 2008, including a press briefing, an official launch reception, and a half-day symposium;
* Hosting a decision-makers forum and reception at Capitol Hill Oceans Week to broaden Congressional interest in
* Unveiling and dedication of a commemorative painting by the artist Wyland;
* Launching a U.S. IYOR Messaging Campaign;
* Providing $200,000 in mini grants for CRCP offices to develop and implement education and outreach activities; and
SParticipating in and sponsorship of the 1 1th International Coral Reef Symposium, where over 80 oral and poster pres-
entations were given and three major reports were unveiled.
Celebrated 10th Anniversary of USCRTF. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force
(USCRTF), which is co-chaired by NOAA via the CRCP. As part of its activities to mark this occasion, the USCRTF:
* Produced a Call to Action outlining a refined focus on adverse impacts of fishing, water quality, and climate change;
* Produced the Implementation of the National Coral ReefAction Strategy: Report on U.S. Coral Reef Task Force
Agency Activities from 2004 2006, a congressionally mandated report providing examples of the activities con-
ducted by USCRTF members and their partners to reduce the threats to these valuable marine ecosystems;
* Released an educational resources CD as a product of the Education and Outreach Working Group; and
* Redesigned the USCRTF Web site.
Increased Deep-Sea Coral Activities. This year the CRCP increased its deep-sea coral activities by:
* Releasing The State ofDeep Coral Ecosystems of the United States, providing assessment of deep coral ecosystems
in seven regions of U.S. waters; and
* Releasing the first biennial report to Congress on the Implementation of the Deep Sea Coral Research and Technol-
ogy Program, called for in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of
2006, providing information on steps taken to identify, monitor, and protect deep-sea coral.
www. coralreef noaa.gov
S I Supplied Resources to Help Reef Managers Address Coral Bleaching. The CRCP worked
with partners to continue addressing the threat of coral bleaching by providing reef managers
with tools to understand climate change and coral bleaching and take action. The CRCP:
Conducted bleaching workshops in Florida and Hawai'i over 150 managers from 18
countries have now been trained using A ReefManager's Guide to Coral Bleaching;
Expanded automated E-mail alerts of potential bleaching conditions to 190 domestic and
international reef sites; and
Launched an experimental seasonal bleaching outlook to predict potential bleaching.
Released Coral Reef Ecosystem Report. The State of Coral Reef Ecosystems of the United
States and Pacific Freely Associated States: 2008 report:
Includes input from more than 270 scientists and managers to provide 15 jurisdiction-
specific chapters that assess the condition of coral reef ecosystems; and
Bleaching workshop par- Grades coral ecosystems on a five tier scale: excellent, good, fair, poor and unknown for
ticipants conduct a resil- which nearly half are considered to be in poor or fair condition.
ience survey in the Flor- Awarded $10.6 Million in Coral Reef Conservation Grants. The CRCP awarded almost
ida Keys. Credit: NOAA $10.6 million in grants to external partners in support of coral reef research, education, man-
Coral Reef Watch agement, monitoring, and conservation. These grants:
Represented over 32 % of the FY2008 budget, supporting a range of activities and four coral research Institutes; and
Were awarded through the jointly managed NOAA-National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Coral Fund and NOAA's
six-category Coral Reef Conservation Grants Program, Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research, and the Office
of National Marine Sanctuaries.
Launched Training Program for Socioeconomic Monitoring in the Pacific.
The SEM-Pasifika Training Program was designed to address end-to-end needs
for practitioners conducting socioeconomic assessments in the Pacific region; it:
* Trained 18 individuals from 10 Pacific jurisdictions; and
* Included an intensive workshop, funds to conduct a socioeconomic assess-
ment, and consultation and a site visit from a technical adviser. I G -.
Assisted Pacific Jurisdictions With Protection of Their Coral Reef Resources SEM-Pasifika training participants
Through Monitoring. Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring (RAMP) cruises conduct a household interview in
conduct extensive benthic habitat mapping, ecological and environmental as- R Credit: ( Loper
sessment and monitoring, and apply management-relevant research throughout the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands. In
FY2008 the CRCP:
* Completed RAMP cruises to the Pacific Remote Island Areas and American Samoa (AS);
* Sponsored participation of AS's Governor on the AS portion of the RAMP cruise;
* Published the Coral ReefEcosystem Monitoring Report for American Samoa: 2002-2006, a comprehensive ecosys-
tem assessment of the coral reefs of AS; and
* Influenced resource management efforts to improve the conservation of coral reef ecosystems in the region.
Advanced Field of Cyanide Detection. The CRCP implemented a series of initiatives to address the illegal use of cya-
nide to capture live reef fish for both the food industry and the aquarium trade, a practice that leads to high mortality
rates of the captured fish and also damages or kills corals and other organisms on the reefs. The CRCP:
* Funded and hosted the International Cyanide Detection Testing Workshop for representatives from fisheries and law
enforcement agencies, and forensic laboratories; and
* Released the Proceedings of the International Cyanide Detection Testing Workshop, providing a framework to im-
plement networks of detection laboratories to advance international efforts to enforce bans on this type of fishing.
Addressed Ocean Acidification. The CRCP is also actively engaged in addressing the rapidly emerging issue of ocean
acidification (OA) through monitoring, research, and outreach. In FY2008 the CRCP:
* Created an OA test-bed in Puerto Rico which serves as a nexus of research and monitoring activities, including work
to design a Coral Reef OA Monitoring Network; and
* Developed an experimental satellite-based product that monitors OA throughout the Caribbean; and
* Initiated base-line characterization of carbonate chemistry at remote Pacific coral reef ecosystems to help refine OA
critical thresholds which could prove severely detrimental to coral reefs.
www. coralreef noaa.gov