Title: Coral Reef Conservation Program : summary of accomplishments
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300933/00002
 Material Information
Title: Coral Reef Conservation Program : summary of accomplishments
Series Title: Coral Reef Conservation Program : summary of accomplishments
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Publisher: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Place of Publication: Silver Spring, Md.
Publication Date: 2004
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300933
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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S U M MA R Y O F 2 0 0 4 A C C O M P L I S H M E N T S

n fiscal year (FY) 2004, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) received $26.85 million to support activities to
conserve, manage, and understand coral reef ecosystems in the U.S. and around the world.
The funding allowed NOAA to implement over 200 projects that address priorities identified by
the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (Task Force), and in the U.S. National Action Plan to Conserve Coral
Reefs (NAP), the U.S. National Coral ReefAction Strategy (NAS), Executive Order 13089: Coral Reef
Protection, and the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 (CRCA). These projects were conducted
by staff in the NOAA Ocean Service, NOAA Fisheries Service, NOAA Research, and NOAA
Satellites and Information Service, and involved hundreds of NOAA and non-NOAA partners,
as well as collaboration among numerous offices. The CRCP also served as the Executive
Secretariat for the Task Force, helping to lead and coordinate the coral reef conservation efforts
of twelve federal agencies, seven U.S. states and territories, and three Freely Associated States.*

Data products and publications listed in this report can be accessed through NOAA's Coral Reef
Information System (CoRIS) at http://coris.noaa.gov. In addition, current news and highlights
of NOAA's recent coral reef activities can be found on the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation
Program Web site (http://coralreef.noaa.gov). This report summarizes some of the many
accomplishments of the NOAA CRCP in FY2004.

The seven participating U.S. states and territories are: American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands,
Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Freely Associated States participate in the Task Force as
observers. They are: the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.
Visit http://coralreef.gov for a full list of Task Force members.


In 2004,
NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program
provided funding and other support for activities
in the following NOAA offices...

National Ocean Service (NOS)
Office of Response and Restoration
National Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science
Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management
National Marine Sanctuary Program
Coastal Services Center
Pacific Services Center
Special Projects Office
International Program Office
National Geodetic Survey
Office of Coast Survey

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
Office of Habitat Conservation
Southeast Regional Office
Southeast Fisheries Science Center
Pacific Islands Regional Office
Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center
Office of Protected Resources
Office of Sustainable Fisheries
Office of Science and Technology
Office of Law Enforcement

Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)
Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
National Sea Grant College Program
NOAA's Undersea Research Program
Office of Ocean Exploration

National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS)
Office of Research and Applications
National Oceanographic Data Center
National Climatic Data Center
National Geophysical Data Center
Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution


Maps provide important information about the
extent and structure of coral reef ecosystems. These maps
are key tools for effectively managing coastal resources,
designing research activities, identifying essential fish
habitat, conducting damage assessments, tracking status
and trends, and evaluating results of management efforts.
In 2004, NOAA continued efforts to fulfill the NAP goal
of mapping and characterizing all U.S. reefs. NOAA:

* Conducted cruises to map benthic habitat in the Common-
wealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam,
American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island Areas
(Johnston Atoll, Howland and Baker Islands, and the U.S.
Phoenix Islands), by collecting high-i ,'olutiou multibeam
i',ihmu, i, i and imagery data for more than 500 square

* Completed review of new shallow water (<30 meters)
benthic habitat maps ol di, U.S. Pacific Territories. The maps
were generated iniola i the visual interpretation of satellite

* Completed phase two of three in the effort to complete
shallow water benthic habitat maps of the Main Ha\'aiiain

* Awarded a two-year cooperative agreement with the
National Defense Center of Excellence for Research in
Ocean Science to accelerate benthic habitat mapping and
L .iM, i''i' ,iiai in the waters of the Hawaiian Islands and the
surrounding Exclusive Economic Zone and to support the
initial mapping cruise of the new NOAA research vessel

* Completed moderate-depth mapping and characterization
of National Monuments, Parks, and selected 1 if", V 11. if,
of U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).

* Began development of a Southern Florida Shallow Water
Coral Reef Ecosystem Mapping Implementation Plan,
and obtained high-i '0olutionl satellite imagery for part of
south Florida.

Newest NOAA Vessel Commissioned
for Coral Reef Research

With support from the CRCP,the newest NOAA vessel, HI'IALAKAI
(Hawaiian for"embracing pathways to the sea"),was commis-
sioned in Hawaii to support NOAA science and outreach needs
in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) and elsewhere
in the Pacific. This vessel is designed and equipped to support
diving operations and multi-beam sonar mapping of the ocean
floor. The vessel undertook its inaugural mission in September
and October 2004 to conduct coral reef ecosystem monitoring
and assessment in the NWHI Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve.
The cruise conducted over 800 safe dives and produced a suite
of biological, habitat,and oceanographic data,which will improve
our understanding of these unique resources.


Monitoring allows managers to assess reef conditions,
diagnose reef problems, prioritize and implement
solutions, evaluate the results of management decisions,
and forecast future conditions. The NAP calls for an
integrated, nationwide coral reef monitoring system to
profile and track the health of U.S. coral reef ecosystems.
This system can be used to measure the effectiveness of
management actions. NOAA conducted a number of
activities to enhance monitoring and assessment of U.S.
coral reef resources in 2004. NOAA:

SImplemented the fourth year of a program that combines
continuous oceanugli aphic monitoring using in-situ moorings
with intensive oceanographic field surveys. To date, 97 moni-
toring sites have been established in the NWHI, Guam,
CNMI, American Samoa, and the Pacific Remote Island

Coral Reef Ecosystems Integrated Observing System Established

Knowledge of oceanographic and biological processes is fundamental to understanding the structure and function of coral reef
ecosystems. In FY2004,the CRCP established the Coral Reef Ecosystem Integrated Observing System (CREIOS) to better integrate
NOAA observing capabilities in coral reef ecosystems. CREIOS activities include a range of NOAA coral reef mapping, monitoring,
and assessment efforts and will help NOAA better meet reef managers'needs for information on coral reef health. CREIOS is integrating
observations from local to global scales,including in-situ monitoring, mapping,and global satellite data processing.

* Expanded access to coral reef data and iiifoination ihlol,,i
the NOAA Coral Reef Infl, nation System (CoRIS) Web site
by adding access to over 680 new data and information
products (over 6,200 total), and over 1,500 glossary terms
(over 3,000 total).

* Completed four research cruises to conduct spatial monitor, ing
of reef fish and benthic habitats in the Pacific Remote Island
Areas and in American Samoa.

Biological Monitoring
of Marine Reserves in South Florida
Shows Increases in Fish Populations

The CRCP completed the third year of a project that monitors
and assesses changes to coral reef fish and invertebrate popu-
lations in a region of southern Florida containing protected
areas. On a twenty-day research cruise, SCUBA divers surveyed
fish, lobsters,and conch within coral reef habitats in and around
the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) and the
DryTortugas National Park (DTNP). Preliminary analyses showed
significant changes in 2004,including increased occurrence and
abundance of red grouper and black grouper,two ecologically
important and economically valuable species.The highest
densities were found within the FKNMSTortugas North Ecological
Reserve and the DTNP. Researchers observed a record ten
goliath grouper,a species that is protected within both the
DTNP and theTortugas North Ecological Reserve.

* Performedfish surveys and benthic habitat surveys in Puerto
Rico and USVI, iuit'g acting the data to estimate abundances
for over 175 species offish, 40 species of coral, and 80 species
of algae.

Coral Reef Watch Provides Real-Time Data
on the Condition of Coral Reefs

As part of CREIOS, NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW) continued
its work to combine in-situ and satellite monitoring to provide
real-time meteorological and oceanographic data on coral reef
bleaching and other coral reef conditions. Highlights of CRW
activities in 2004 include: deployed new hourly data recording
instruments at two sites in the Atlantic/Caribbean; established
partnerships to install Coral Reef Early Warning System stations
in Jamaica and Australia; established a new sea surface tempera-
ture buoy site at Johnston Atoll; completed initial analysis of
cores from two sites in the FKNMS to produce a historical
analysis of coral bleaching;and continued efforts to complete
modeling of the reefs of Palau, in order to identify areas that
are highly sensitive to coral bleaching.

* Continued to si,. i ,ili, ii the National Coral ReeJ oaiioula,,
Program iii hiii grants and enhanced partnerships with
states, territories, and other federal agencies for nionito, ing
and assessment of coral reefs.

* Completed a draft of li, second biennial "State of the Coral
Reef Ecosystems of the United States and Pacific Freely
Associated States," a collaborative report on the condition
of U.S. coral reef ecosystems. The report is used to evaluate
the effe'ailt i''es of coral reef conservation and management


Research is critical to understanding how coral reef
ecosystems function, how human activities impact reef
processes, and how managers and the public can reduce
or eliminate these impacts, and sustain healthy coral
reef ecosystems. The NAP calls for strategic research to
help identify the causes, consequences, and solutions
to coral reef decline. Strategic research includes under-
standing the social and economic factors necessary for
effective conservation of coral reef ecosystems. NOAA:

* Continued funding for the National Coral Reef Institute
(located in Florida), the Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative-Research
Program, and the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute (located in
Puerto Rico). These programs conduct and support important
coral reef research efforts in the Pacific and Caribbean.

* Continued a cooperative research program to study large-
scale distribution and habitat characteristics ofgroupers in
the Florida Keys.

* Completed the first stage in an on-going research effort by obtain-
ing a suite of microchemical signatures of ih, i,, i i. ear bones
of important reef fish, which can be used to i, n,,ilhv nursery
areas in the Florida Keys.

* Tested and implemented coral recovery models to generate
'fit ii, al"ii .ii .iit v estimates for the recovery of coral habitats
that sustain injury from vessel groundings.

* Established twelve new elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata)
nmouitoi ing plots in the Key Largo area, and conducted an
experiment to test whether lesions appearing as White Pox
disease on elkhorn coral are transmissible to staghorn coral
(Acropora cervicornis).

* Provided technical assistance on the economic valuation of
local coral reefs and other coastal resources to local agencies
in CNMI, Guam, and Puerto Rico, the first three states and
territories to begin the study.

Predicting, Responding to, and Preventing
Disease Outbreaks in Coral Reefs

The CRCP supports and participates in the work of the multi-
partner Coral Disease and Health Consortium (CDHC,which leads
the effort to study diseases in coral reef ecosystems. The goal
of the CDHC is to create tools for early warning and identification
of the causes of disease outbreaks,and to identify potential
solutions to prevent and mitigate future outbreaks. In 2004,
CDHC participants began developing a web-based tool to guide
investigators in the process of diagnosing a coral disease,and will
soon publish a comprehensive diagnostic guide. The CDHC also
sequenced over 3000 cDNA clones from several coral species.
This DNA research expands our knowledge of the genes that
regulate normal coral functions,as well as those genes that help
corals respond to disease and environmental disturbances.

* Successfully tested a prototype camera bait station that will
be used to conduct long-term mouitoi ing of exploited bottom
fish populations in the U.S. Pacific.

* Completed a socioeconomic assessment of commercial bottom-
fishing in the NWHI to support the sanctuary doeignatiou
process for the NWHI Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve. The report
includes iinf, miation on 1, i,, fiit ,i cost estimates, an estimate
of it full market value of th, i',,oiioiiirlg industry, opinions
and perceptions of the fishermen and others involved in the
industry, as well as a summary of existing socioeconomic
related inffoi matiou

Quantifying the Value of our Nation's
Coral Reefs

Greater understanding of the social and economic value of coral
reefs is critical to the long-term success of all coral reef manage-
ment programs.The CRCP worked with local and federal partners
to complete a coral reef survey instrument to quantify the value
of Hawaiian coral reef ecosystems to the U.S. population. The
survey tools were developed using input from focus groups and
survey research experts,and can be used in the future to quantify
the value of coral reefs in other areas. The survey will be carried
out in FY2005 to help Hawaii's coastal managers develop effective
coral reef management strategies and help educators address
citizen concerns.


Coral reef protected areas can help safeguard these
unique and important resources by protecting important
coral reef habitats. NOAA works with stakeholders to
strengthen the effectiveness of existing protected areas
and to design new protected areas. In an effort to
improve coral reef protected areas, NOAA:

* Completed the final NWHI Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve
Operations Plan, which will guide the futrctioning of the
Reserve during the sanctuary ,d'ignatiou process and will
form the foundation of ih, draft sanctuary management plan.

* Catalyzed an effort to develop management plans for Puerto
Rico's Marine Natural Reserves.

* Refined data and completed '. iifii ii% analysis routines in
Ecopath to model the eff ctiil'ciw' of marine reserves in
Puerto Rico.

* Supported a new effort by the National Marine Protected
Area Center to conduct a nationwide inventory of defacto
marine protected areas.

* Completed the second year of an ongoing effort to monitor
coral reef fish utilization of protected areas and recruitment
ii ii 11i i'i between the Florida Keys and Meso-American
reefs i'v .. i, ,iil'ii, i fish spawning ag I, atiois and sampling
newly settled recruits.

Reef Fish Monitoring Studies
Translate to Management Action

The Madison-Swanson and Steamboat Lumps MPAs on the
West Florida Shelf were established in 1999 as a management
alternative to improve skewed sex ratios and decreased popu-
lation levels in gag grouper. A project was designed to evaluate
the effectiveness of these areas to increase reproductive output
and act as refuges for mature male gag grouper. In addition to
the two protected areas,a similar area open to fishing (Twin
Ridges) was studied to separate natural population fluctuations
from any effect of the fishing closures. The three areas were
sampled during multi-leg cruises between 2001 and 2004.
Information from this study was used by the Gulf of Mexico
Fishery Management Council to extend the closure of the
Madison-Swanson and Steamboat Lumps MPAs or the next
six years.

* Continued efforts to characterize and qjii.il' l-fishing til'; ;1'
within and adjacent to the Madison-Swanson and Steamboat
Lumps protected areas in the Gulf of Mexico.

* Completed studies of benthic habitat use in two natural
reserves in Puerto Rico that are dominated by coral reef and
seagrass areas to determine human impacts to these habitats
and, in coordination with the reserve managers, develop
potential management strategies to eliminate or reduce these


Overfishing is one of the most common threats to
coral reef ecosystems worldwide. NOAA strives to increase
stakeholder awareness and participation in fishery
management and to strengthen permitting and enforce-
ment of current regulations. The NAP calls for reducing
adverse impacts of fishing and increasing sustainable
management of coral reef fisheries through improved
scientific information, coordination, enforcement,
and management approaches. To address this issue,

* Continued surveys of the distribution of trap fishing and its
effects on coral reef ecosystems in Puerto Rico and the USVI
and presented preliminary results to the Caribbean Fishery
Management Council.

* Initiated a socio-cultural assessment ofih, fishing commu-
nities in Haiti that exploit the resources of Navassa Island.

* Interviewed stakeholders in Puerto Rico and the USVI to
collect socioeconomic data on fisheries management measures
in these jurisdictions.

* Worked with the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and
Environmental Resources (DNER) to create a Coral Reef
Ranger Team. The goal of establishing the Team is to improve
enforcement of igitlation' that protect coral reefs in Puerto
Rico. The Ranger Team participated in training and
exchanges with the staff of the FKNMS.

Working with Commercial and Recreational
Fishers of Puerto Rico to Conserve Coral Reef

In partnership with the Puerto Rico DNER, NOAA held workshops
for commercial and recreational fishers around Puerto Rico and
its surrounding islands focusing on the new Puerto Rico fishing
regulations and NOAA Fisheries highly migratory species
regulations. Asa result of recommendations made by fishers
during the workshops, DNER has expanded fisher participation
in the panel reviewing and drafting amendments to the fishery
regulations. DNER is also circulating educational materials from
the workshop including laminated sheets and calipers as part
of the new commercial licensing process. The materials were
also provided to enforcement officials within DNER.

* Clomp,., / commercial and recreational landing statistics for
Florida's east coast.

* Analyzed data from surveys of large coral reef fish across
fourteen islands and five shoals of ih, Marianas Archipelago
to assess the status of li, i, populations. Results indicate that
large fish (all taxa pooled) occurred in i, ifi'l. il higher
densities around the, ,. ,iiiiHv ,iii,ibll'ii ,t northernmost
islands of the archipelago.

* Hired a coral reef ecologist in CNMI as a NOAA liaison to
provide technical expertise to enhance coral reef management

* Supported ilmiil tiiiiiI', i'-, fishery management efforts in
American Samoa.

* Supported a new initiative in Guam to increase the enforce-
ment ,iP,, i'ii of local rangers ihloti a conservation olii, I
reserve program.

* Continued to examine the extent of larval transport from
reserves in the Main H 'awiian Islands and the NWHI by
analyzing the presence of trace elements found in fish ear
bones. Initial data indicate a slower larval ,i on ill rate in
the cooler waters of ih, distant NWHI.


Coastal uses, such as recreational b. ,:i,_ beach
renourishment, and laying new pipelines or cables,
can have negative impacts on coral reef ecosystems.

For example, vessel groundings can cause injury to coral
reef ecosystems by destroying habitat, releasing pollutants,
and entrapping wildlife. The NAP calls for initiation of
actions to reduce the impacts of vessel groundings,
development, and other coastal uses. To support activities
that enable U.S. states and territories to respond to and
reduce habitat destruction, NOAA:

* Initiated a project to integrate coral reef locations, marine
protected areas boundaries, and other pertinent environ-
mental features into uavigatiou systems for the Florida Keys
and the Dry Tortugas in order to reduce the risk of physical
destruction to reefs from groundings and pollution from ships.

Addressing the Impact of Abandoned Vessels
on Coral Reef Ecosystems

In 2004,the Abandoned Vessel Project (AVP) completed a
comprehensive database documenting the location of hundreds
of abandoned vessels throughout the U.S. Caribbean and Pacific
islands. The AVP also collected information on how coastal states
manage vessel impacts for inclusion in a web resource for coastal
managers. Additionally,a final report on the 2003 vessel surveys
in Guam and CNMI was released.

Tons of Marine Debris Removed
from Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

A large amount of derelict fishing gear and other debris
becomes entangled in the coral reefs of the NWHI every year.
Much of the fishing gear can be traced back to the distant
fisheries of the North Pacific Rim. Through the coordinated
efforts of offices across the CRCP, over 112 metric tons of debris
were removed from the NWHI in FY2004. To date, over 440
metric tons have been removed and documented in a database
by debris type, size,and other physical characteristics that may
assist in identifying presumed fishery origins.

* Supported a seminar in partnership with the Department of
State and the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economies
on derelict fishing gear and related marine debris.

* Created high-i osolutiou shoreline maps for use in response
to hazardous materials spills as part of Environmental
5. ii' fii 1'1 Index (ESI) maps for Guam and CNMI.

* Supported the development and implementation of Local
Action Strategy (LAS) projects to reduce impacts to coral reefs
from land-based sources of pollution in the U.S. states and
territories. Projects include watershed mapping and planning,
i foi station with native species to reduce erosion and sedi-
mentation, and ,i. iii ,ii,aii i' and di,iii,, i ,iaii, i of sources
of pollution.

* Began development of GIS management tools to address
land-based sources of pollution in Puerto Rico and USVI.


Both land-based and sea-based pollution can
cause coral reef loss and degradation by increasing the
amount of sediments, nutrients, and debris in the water
column. To improve the health of the nation's coral reef
ecosystems, the concentration and cumulative impacts
of pollutants needs to be reduced. The NAP calls for
action to reduce the quantity of sediments, nutrients,
debris, and other pollutants entering coral reef ecosystems
and to mitigate their impacts on the ecosystem. NOAA:

* Held workshopsfor coral reef scientists and managers in the
', i/i, ii i, Atlantic to share advances in the science of land-
based pollution impacts on reefs, and to explore the technical
approaches needed to address the issue.


At times, active restoration is needed to help
prevent further degradation or to enhance the natural
restoration process in injured or damaged coral reef
habitats. The NAP calls for increased capability of mana-
gers to effectively and efficiently restore injured or
degraded coral reefs where appropriate. To support
activities that enable states and territories to assess and
restore damaged coral reef areas, NOAA:

* Collected, reared, and settled over 1000 Acropora palmata
larvae on reef rubble and planted approximately 400 three-
week old jture'ile corals at the Wellwood restoration site in

* Completed research expeditions to Mona Island, Desecheo
Island, and La Parguera, Puerto Rico. Surveys of fragment
survival, !i on di reattachment, and health, as well as reef
fish densities at the M/V FORTUNA REEFER grounding
site were completed, as well as surveys of benthic cover,
and occurrence of coral disease at La Parguera shelf edge
reefs, Desecheo Island, Gallardo, and Mona Island.

Restoration of Coral Reefs and Seagrass Beds

The Restoration and Assessment of Coral Ecosystems (RACE)
Program works with the State of Florida to assess and restore
natural resources injured by small vessel groundings within the
FKNMS. The RACE process includes injury assessment, restoration
planning, case settlement, restoration of the damaged site,
and monitoring of the restoration effectiveness. In 2004,the
RACE Program completed twenty-six seagrass injury assessments
and twenty-five restoration plans; another five plans were
drafted. The claims associated with the restoration plans total
$1.8 million in damages. Seven cases were settled totaling a
quarter of a million dollars.

* Continued to monitor thefish Oiinio iiiii vfor recovery and
itoii aiiou 'ffeadiil v'i' at both the R/VISELIN grounding at
Looe Key Reef in the Florida Keys and the M/V FORTUNA
REEFER grounding at Mona Island, Puerto Rico.


Throughout the world, coral reefs are threatened
directly and indirectly by a number of natural and anthro-
pogenic stresses such as increased storm activities, coral
bleaching and mortality, resource extraction, and coastal
development. Healthy coral reefs are critical to U.S. efforts
to promote economic stability, to improve human health,
and to conserve biodiversity in other countries. The NAP
calls on the U.S. to reduce threats to coral reef ecosystems
internationally and promote sustainable management of
reef resources worldwide. NOAA:

* Assessed the location, extent, and impact of current live rock
iin iiI , in practices in Fiji and developed recommendations
to ensure the sustainability of ih, trade. The project provided
recommendations for sustainable harvest and mariculture
alternatives that were used by ih, ,ili I ,, n, it ofFiji to develop
a management plan for sustainable live rock harvest and

Workshop and CITES Listing of Seahorses

In partnership with the Mexico Authority of the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and
Fauna (CITES), NOAA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
led the first International workshop on the implementation of
the CITES Appendix II listing for seahorses. Recommendations
on monitoring and management needs were developed to make
non-detriment findings for the sustainable export of seahorses.
Workshop participants identified the need for a series of manage-
ment measures that should be applied through an adaptive
management process. NOAA also worked with the USFWS to
develop a successful listing proposal for the humphead wrasse,
the first coral reef fish to be listed under CITES.

* Helped establish cyanide detection laboratories in Malaysia,
Philippines, and Vietnam, to monitor, il;., and test marine
aquarium fish for the presence of cyanide. The project
provided supplies, equipment, and training for government
fisheries agencies. The facilities will be turned over to the
respective governments once the detection protocol is success-
fully implemented.

* Provided content and funding support for two Global Coral
ReeJ _Iiwll, uy Network (GCRMN) reports: Status of Coral
Reefs of the World: 2004 and Methods for Ecological
Monitoring of Coral Reefs.

* Supported the i ii', i, iin of Global Socioeconomic 3Moiitoi ilg
Program documents for coral reef managers into Spanish to
facilitate the ~ \',is,iilr lofili. pai,,i1 into Spanish-speaking
countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

* Provided funding for the senior scientist position at the Palau
International Coral Reef Center

* Supported the release of How is Your MPA Doing? A
Guidebook of Natural and Social Indicators for
Evaluating Marine Protected Area Management
Effectiveness. This guidebook is meant to aide protected
area managers and practitioners to better achieve the goals
and oi'. 1;ai, % of the areas ill, v manage.


A key element of coral reef protection is a strong
outreach effort to inform the public about the value of
coral reef ecosystems and how to minimize the threats
they face. Effective outreach requires reliable access to
and efficient sharing of information with all stakeholders.

The NAP calls for increased awareness and understanding
of the ecological, cultural, and socioeconomic importance
of coral reef ecosystems among the widest possible
audience. NOAA:

* Continued to Chair and support the activities of the U.S.
Coral Reef Task Force Education and Outreach 11i i, t, w
Group. This included efforts to increase outreach to and
coordination with local coral reef stakeholders during Task
Force imetiung, as well as efforts to foster increased net-
working and collaboration among the national coral reef
outreach LmmmIiiiiii The 11i0, i',.g Group also L'm'iI, .1
and released a CD of coral reef outreach and education
materials from over 20 o,'.i.i:,,lo, i' in 8 languages.

Developed a poster to pi oI id, iifo, miatiou aimed at limiting
noncompliance and illegal, i iii i i in the Madison-Swanson
and Steamboat Lumps marine reserves off the West Florida

Developed an on-line education module on coral bleaching
iiw, aii the Coral Literature, Education and Outreach
Program. In addition, over two hundred new abstracts and
scanned documents related to coral reef research from Puerto
Rico and the Caribbean were made available.

Initiated an effort to raise awareness of deep sea corals,
particularly those found in the Oculina Bank Habitat Area
of Particular Concern off the east coast of Florida.

New Educational Partnership to Increase
Coral Reef Education in Puerto Rico

The CRCP partnered with the University of Puerto Rico's Science
on Wheels Educational Center to develop a Coral Reef Education
Team for schools to promote awareness of coral reefs.Graduate
students visited K-9 schools and provided information about
coral reef ecosystems to students.Teachers were provided with
additional coral reef educational resources,such as maps,videos,
and activity books.The Coral Reef Education Team will provide
participating schools with additional training activities and
follow-up workshops.

* Produced posters and laminated pamphlets for commercial,
recreational, and aquarium trade fishers regarding the new
Puerto Rico Fishing Regllationu

* Created a bilingual pamphlet about the importance of coral
reef ecosystems to be distributed at hotels, dive shops and
tourist ilfoi matiou centers in Puerto Rico.

* Created educational materials and lesson plans regarding
coral reef ecosystems and conservation to be used by schools
in the U.S. Caribbean.

* Launched a new CRCP website and established a new
,,,li'lil' i, i,,, NOAA Coral Reef News, which attracted
over 700 subscribers in its first year.

* Expanded efforts to .1iai c ilnfoi mtiou on coral reef conser-
vation iiil, toih brochures, exhibits, and participation in
conferences and other workshops that build on NOAA
resources and activities.


The states and territories have indicated that
targeted technical assistance will help them address nine
of the top ten threats to coral reef ecosystems including
tourism and recreational overuse, overfishing, and land-
based pollution. In an effort to help build capacity at the
local level, NOAA:

* Provided support for the All Islands Coral Reef Secretariat to
i1,, I, I., i il federal agencies and other partners regarding
All Islands priorities and to provide planning assistance.

Local Action Strategy Projects
Advance Coral Reef Conservation

NOAA and the Task Force assisted the seven U.S. coral reef
jurisdictions with the development of Local Action Strategies
(LAS) to address key local threats to coral reefs including
overfishing, lack of awareness, recreational overuse, land-
based sources of pollution, climate change, and disease.
The LAS were developed through extensive workshops,
briefings and public meetings designed to engage local stake-
holders, including local and international non-governmental
organizations, academia, industry, and concerned citizens.
Selected LAS were completed by all seven jurisdictions,
and several were finalized before the end of 2004,which allowed
NOAA to more clearly identify local needs, connect local priorities
to national goals,and coordinate agency actions to better
support each local jurisdiction's management of their coral reef
resources. NOAA is continuing to work with each jurisdiction
to implement priority coral reef conservation projects outlined
in the LAS.

* Supported two meetings and other efforts of the U.S.
Coral Reef Task Force, including the creation of additional
Task Force outreach materials, and development of the
first biennial progress report to Congress on implementation
of the NAS.

* Supported the second year of the Coral ReeJ -11.iii, w. m.
Fellowship Program. This fellowship places graduates of
masters degree programs with resource management
agencies in the U.S. Flag islands for two-years to complete
activities such as: local website updates, education projects,
establishment of internship programs, and support for
development and implementation of LAS in each

* Built ,i.pi. iti to address reef resilience to climate change
ihi,,,iih local management action. NOAA collaborated
with leading experts on coral reefs and bleaching to
develop displays and flyers about reef resilience, provide
training opportunities, and support the development of
A Manager's Guide to Coral Bleaching.

* Funded a cooperative agreement with The Nature Conser-
vancy Hawaii Chapter to support: 1) the Hawaii Marine
Gap program, 2) the Coastwatch program, and 3) a meeting
of representatives from the commercial tourism industry
to establish a "voluntary fund" that will be used for
conservation purposes.


The Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000
requires that NOAA establish and administer the Coral
Reef Conservation Grant Program as part of a national
effort to conserve coral reefs. This program is supported
in part by the U.S. Department of Interior and provides
grants to U.S. state, territory and the Freely Associated
States governments, regional fishery management
councils, non-governmental organizations (NGOs),
and academia for local on-the-ground work. In 2004
almost $5 million was awarded in grants for coral reef
conservation and research activities. NOAA:

* Awarded and administered cooperative agreements with
seven U.S. states and territories, the Republic of Palau,
and Kosrae (in the Federated States of Micronesia) to
conduct long term mouitoi ing of coral reef ecosystems as
part of the National Coral ReeJ o I,,,ai iiga Program.

* Awarded eighteen research grants iii iih the Coral
Reef Ecosystem Research Grants Program, which leverages
funds with the National Undersea Research Program for
increased coral reef ecosystem research.

* Awarded sixteen grants under the International Coral
Reef Conservation Grant Program to local LOmmitiiiiiv'.
based NGOs as well as international NGOs. Federal funds
were leveraged with non-federal matching funds for over
$1 million to support international coral reef conservation
projects. Selected projects addressed the following topics:
1) management, ff al. ii s in MPAs, 2) regional
approaches to marine reserves in the Caribbean and
Southeast Asia, and 3) Socio-Economic monitoi ilg in
coral MPAs.

* Administered four cooperative agreements for projects to
Improve or Amend Coral Reef Fishery Management Plans
with the Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management
Council, the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council,
the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council, and the
Caribbean Fisheries Management Council.

* Awarded fourteen grants to Universities, NGOs, and private
ii,i ii':, isin, as part of ih, General Coral Reef Conservation
Grants, leveraging non-federal funds for over $1 million
in conservation projects. Supported activities included
fisheries and marine protected area enforcement, improve-
ment of fisheries management, outreach and education,
and miiii,,iiiiiii'i',i',, management and moulitoi ing

* Supported priority management projects in American
Samoa, CNMI, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico,
and the USVI, which addressed LAS projects, marine
protected area management, fisheries enforcement,
and education and outreach as part of the State and
Territory Coral ReeJ -1,iir,i m, ,i Grants.


The Coral Reef Conservation Fund (Fund) is a
four-year-old partnership between NOAA and the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to build
partnerships for coral reef conservation. The partner-
ships created through this grant program, mandated
under the Coral Reef Conservation Act, are important
for on-the-ground conservation of coral reefs through-
out the world. Through the partnerships, grant
recipients are able to generate substantial matching
funds for the conservation of coral reefs. Through the
Fund, NOAA:

* Supported 26 .o,-th .1,1 ,i,t projects with a total value of
$2.4 million in 2004. Grants were awarded to i, 'ii, di, nti, i,
in six U.S. states and territories and thirteen countries,
for restoration of coral reefs and mangroves; reduction of
land-and marine-based pollution; outreach and education;
monitoring, research and training; establishing mooring
buoys; and improving the effietii 'ua of coral reef protected
areas. Since 2000, the Fund has provided nearly $10
million in federal and non-federal matching funds for
116 projects in the U.S. and abroad.

NoAAcora reco


David Kennedy
Manager, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program
phone: 301-713-2989
email: coralreef@noaa.gov


David Kennedy, National Ocean Service
Garry Mayer, National Marine Fisheries Service
Barbara Moore, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
Eric Bayler, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service

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